AARP Eye Center
( via Adam Blomberg)
For many of us who live in cities, it gets easy to forget just how much of the country is rural - no big cities, away from the highways, far from the airports, and with really spotty Internet access available. Broadband access, with all the data, information, and personal connections it can provide you, is fast becoming a critical need of the 21st century - and one not available through telcos in much of the US. It's becoming so critical, it became a campaign issue - and the White House announced $795 million in grants to address the problem earlier this year.
So what do you do with no access? Over Thanksgiving week, I'm working in one of those places - hardly a backwater, but no cable company has quite managed to string out wires this far. My relatives have a MiFi card - a tiny gadget, not much bigger than a playing card, that uses a cell network to get you and four others online. It's not always reliable, but it's a start.
If you're in a similar position - most cell companies are now offering something similar. But which one to get? We found this very helpful roundup of mobile internet coverage across the United States by region and city - it may give you an idea. Both AT&T and Verizon offer those MiFi cards.
And once you get one, Twitter at us to let us know how it is.