Enter your zip code below to find fixed wireless internet providers near you and at your address. Fixed wireless internet is just one way of getting online and might not be available in your area. See all types of TV and Internet plans available near you here.
Fixed Wireless by Zip Code
Fixed Wireless by City
What is fixed wireless service?
Most people haven't ever heard of fixed wireless service. Also known as WISPs, meaning “wireless internet service providers”, these provider are often the best type of internet service for mobile homes and rural areas. They offer competitive speeds but may be less reliable and require more work than a traditional wired connection.
Most internet providers run a line from the fiber backbone to your home. It may pass through several different points on the way, but at the end of the day the connection to your home is made with a fiber optic or copper wire. This poses a problem for areas with very low population density, such as in the rural areas. Running a line to every home in a farming community could be very expensive, in some cases laying 10 times more line to cover 1/10th the number of subscribers vs. a medium-sized city. Satellite is generally not the best option for people due to latency. The solution? Fixed wireless.
Fixed wireless runs fiber to a tall building or tower where an access point is installed. You then install a receiver on your home. Unlike satellite service, which uses radio waves, fixed wireless uses a higher-frequency microwave connection. This more direct signal means the internet is faster, and the direct fiber connection to the tower means there's far less lag than with satellite internet. However, with greater frequencies come some problems. High-frequency signals cannot pass through walls and barriers like radio waves can, meaning a tree growing between you and a tower can be a recurring problem, especially if the tree is owned by an uncompromising neighbor. Rain and snow can also interfere with the signal. Providers often say this is not a problem, and for light weather they may be right. However, subscribers in the real world report problems when the weather gets bad. Just like a satellite, the signal is also dependent on proper alignment. Despite being closer, the signal requires very good alignment. Unless installed with solid adjustment, an obnoxious squirrel could knock your signal out until you get a technician out. These types of alignment problems are rare if instillation is done right, but they happen.
Who are the major WISPs?
- Rise Broadband is the largest Fixed Wireless provider, and they are actively acquiring other fixed wireless providers in an attempt to consolidate their network.
- AT&T also offers fixed wireless service. Fixed wireless is an easier way to service rural customers who might find their DSL is too slow, and AT&T is migrating away from selling DSL service to new customers.
- King Street wireless serves strategic rural areas from California to West Virginia.
Unlike cable, fiber, or DSL, there are far more small providers: too many to list here. Because fixed wireless is both easier to set up and less dependent on digging holes and running wires, there is a lot more competition and there are a lot of providers.
Where is fixed wireless internet available?
In theory fixed wireless internet could be everywhere, but in practice it is more concentrated in rural areas where it might be the best option available to homeowners and renters.
Fixed wireless coverage by state
As you may notice, the fixed wireless internet coverage map is almost a mirror image of fiber and cable coverage maps. Fixed wireless covers 0% of Rhode Island, where cable and fiber coverage are widespread. Meanwhile it is a popular choice in the more rural Midwest states.
Should I get fixed wireless internet?
It's generally not the first service you should consider, particularly if you can get fiber or cable. Depending on DSL speeds it may be a better option than DSL, and it's far superior to the frustrations of satellite internet. Fixed wireless is not even offered in many large east-coast cities because the alternatives are better in many ways, but in rural areas, poorly-connected and semi-permanent housing areas it's a reasonable choice.