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In rural areas it's quite a bit different.

Where I am in rural southern Missouri, I've got very few choices.

1. Mediacom - horrible customer service, decent speed when it works but sometimes unreliable. Data caps on all accounts.

2. Centurylink DSL - horribly slow and horribly small data caps.

3. TotalHighspeed - 3 megabits for $75/month via Wifi dish.

4. Verizon LTE - ~$100 for a 15 gigabyte per month data cap, then it's throttled to ~600kbit/s once 15 gigs is used.

Note that the only one that doesn't have explicit data caps and multi-year contracts is the tiny WISP with extremely slow service. Verizon and Mediacom both have 2 year contracts with cancellation fees. Centurylink has data caps so small that it isn't even worth considering. Most of these options are only available inside city limits, if you live far out of town your only option is Verizon or a Satellite provider with outrageous latency and data caps.

Government might not always do a good job providing service but I'd love to see literally any new competition enter the market.

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