The Alternative to DSL in Areas Where DSL is Not Available

By Kimberly Turtenwald

At least one type of Internet access is available in all locations.
i John Foxx/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Internet connections via digital subscriber lines, or DSL, is not available in all locations. With DSL, an Internet subscriber must live within a certain distance of the DSL provider to receive service. If DSL is not available in your location, you might consider cable, satellite, wireless or dial-up Internet service providers.


When DSL is not available and you cannot afford other broadband connections, dial-up may be your only viable option. Dial-up is the slowest and oldest type of Internet connection. It is also the cheapest, which makes it appealing to those who use the Internet minimally. The Internet signal runs through your phone line, and you cannot use your phone while you are using the Internet. Numerous service providers offer users a wide range of price options as well as other features. Some of these providers are local, while others are larger, nationwide companies.


Even when DSL is not available, some areas closer to cities and suburbs may still have cable Internet access available. Cable Internet signals travel through the cable lines instead of the phone lines. While cable Internet costs more than DSL or dial-up Internet, the speed is generally faster and some companies offer various levels of service to help lower the cost. In addition, if you have cable television, some companies will offer you a bundle package deal.


Those who live in rural areas where cable lines and DSL access are not available still have options when it comes to high-speed Internet. Several satellite providers also offer Internet service through the satellite dish. Because the signal travels through the air, access is not limited. As long as you have a clear view of the southern sky for your satellite dish, you will be able to pick up the signal. Satellite Internet access can be expensive, but if you require high-speed Internet, it is your only option in some areas.


Some providers, primarily cell phone providers, offer the ability to access wireless Internet through your computer. Running on the same network as the company's cell phones, a small device picks up the Internet signal from the cell phone towers. Each device allows you to connect several devices wirelessly. This connection becomes your very own Wi-Fi hotspot that you can use wherever you go, as long as you receive a signal. If you live in an area with poor cell phone service, the wireless device may not work well.