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Here are The Best Internet Options for Rural Areas in Ontario

According to the Canadian Internet Registration Authority, 100% of Canadians in urban areas have access to broadband internet. Yet only 85% of those in rural areas get to enjoy the same access.

So if you want rural internet in Ontario, what are you supposed to do? Read on to learn the best internet options for rural areas in Ontario.

Internet Options for Rural Areas in Ontario

In order to understand your internet options in your region, you first need to know how to compare the various types of services. The main internet options for rural areas in Ontario are as follows:

Let's compare each type of internet you can get in rural Ontario.


DSL stands for Digital Subscriber Line. Consumers can get high-speed internet from a phone wall jack on an existing telephone network.

DSL Advantages

The benefits of this type of internet are that it is available wherever there are existing phone lines (which is basically everywhere in Ontario). You don't need to re-wire your home or office if you already have an existing phone line.

You can use a landline telephone at the same time without affecting your internet. You can also keep your internet line open and use the phone to make calls.

Another perk is that even if there are multiple subscribers online at once, it doesn't cause a lag or heavier demand on the DSL. Plus, DSL is often less expensive than other internet connections.

A great thing about DSL is that the internet speed is higher than with a regular modem. Of course, you will need a modem for DSL. In many cases, the internet provider includes it as part of the installation cost.

DSL Disadvantages

As with any option for rural internet in Ontario, there are some disadvantages to DSL.

Unfortunately, DSL lines lose quality over distance. A DSL connection works optimally when you are located close to the provider's office.

The further away you are, the weaker the signal becomes. So your internet will be very slow if you live far from the broadband access point.

Make sure to take that into account based on your location and the closest provider's office.

Keep in mind that DSL offers a faster connection for receiving data than for sending it. So if you plan to download more than you upload, this might not be an issue for you.

Finally, DSL service is not available everywhere. Thought, it is one of the available internet options for rural areas in Ontario.


Cable internet runs via a fast broadband connection through the same cables used for cable TV. In order for the cable to work, you need a cable modem termination system and a subscriber cable modem.

Outside your home, a coaxial cable will be connected to the live cable that runs into the house and then to the cable modem (a small box that needs to be placed somewhere in your home).

The internet uses a dedicated TV channel to get the transmission.

Cable Advantages

There are many benefits to choosing cable internet. It can be up to ten times faster than DSL.

Plus, cable internet can spread speeds evenly among individual users. It also means that if you want to pay more for extra bandwidth, you will get faster speeds.

Cable is a good option if you use your internet for streaming, video calls, online gaming or often upload large files.

Cable Disadvantages

The main disadvantage of cable is that you share bandwidth with other users. This can really slow your internet speed down. Essentially, you are on a network loop with other neighbours and so share bandwidth with those around you.

During peak internet usage hours, you may find that your network speed is quite a lot slower.

Cable internet might not be available in your rural Ontario area. Or if it is available, you may only have one cable company provider near you. That means there is no reason for that company to offer a deal or competitive pricing.

Finally, cable speeds are slower than those you could enjoy with fibre-optic internet.


Fibre internet uses tiny strands of plastic or glass fibre-optic cables to transmit the signal in pulses of light.

DSL and cable use copper lines but fibre optic cables use light and so are way faster.

Fibre internet is the best option for fast speeds and reliability.

Fiber Advantages

The huge advantage of fibre internet is that your upload speed is the same as your download speed - mega fast.

This means you can Livestream, do online gaming, watch videos and enjoy websites that load instantly.

Also, because fibre cables don't rely on copper lines, the speed doesn't diminish the further you are from the company's office. This makes fibre internet a great rural area choice.

Plus, optical fibres have a longer life cycle than copper wires. They can last for over 100 years.

Fiber Disadvantages

Optical fibres are fragile. They are easier to damage than copper wire. It's best to avoid handling these cables once they are installed.

This internet option is not as available as other options because it needs a specific infrastructure. Chances are you will have to pay more for installation for this type of internet than any other option.


Fibre internet uses tiny strands of plastic or glass fibre-optic cables to transmit the signal in pulses of light.

Satellite Advantages

One of the main benefits of a satellite is that it is readily available anywhere in rural Ontario. Even in areas where DSL and cable lines aren't possible, satellite internet is still an option.

Besides the receiver, there is no other infrastructure or equipment that you need to get the internet. Also, if power lines go down, you still have the internet!

Satellite Disadvantages

Because you are relying on a satellite, weather can cause lost signals and loss of service.

Also, slow speeds can be an issue due to the fact that the signal has to travel a massive distance. Typically, you can expect the same speeds as DSL and cable.

Satellite internet is comparatively more expensive than either cable or DSL internet but possibly less than fibre. There are high start-up costs as well as monthly fees to consider.

Fixed Wireless

If you're a current/former satellite internet customer and despise how everything from adverse weather to abnormal solar activities disrupts your connection, you're going to love fixed wireless. Fixed wireless connections get transmitted from a local tower (Access Point) that are situated just a few miles away from your property. The tower is fed by very high-speed fibre lines to handle large bandwidth requests.

Fixed Wireless Advantages

No matter how expensive a rural internet package you buy, with certain rural options, logistical limitations might make it so you can only push your data speeds so far. With fixed wireless, depending on your proximity to a base station and obstructions, you may be blown away by the data speeds that you can achieve.

Many of our WaveDirect rural Ontario customers enjoy download speeds up to 25mbps. That is 5-times faster than what Netflix recommends for problem-free HD streaming.

Fixed wireless internet is a technology that's less than a decade old. Consequently, it's improving quickly. By getting on the ground floor of an already excellent product, you'll enjoy periodic reliability and speed improvements that will enhance your internet experience.

Fixed Wireless Disadvantages

In order to send and receive fixed wireless signals, you will need to affix a receiver to your property. Receivers are becoming progressively quaint and can typically be installed in a way that reduces visibility.

People that move to rural areas from large cities may be surprised to find that rural internet services like fixed wireless cost more for the speed offered than what they're used to. As adoption of fixed wireless increases and technology improves, you'll gradually see these costs lower.

Best Rural Internet in Ontario

Thanks for reading about all the internet options for rural areas in Ontario. The best internet option depends on your budget and also what you plan to use the internet for.