The Best High-Speed Internet Provider for Rapid City, SD

While only 84% of South Dakota residents have access to high-speed internet services from leading service providers, 100% of the residents of Rapid City, SD have access to high-speed internet, with four companies competing for the high-speed internet dollar. While there aren’t as many provider options as in some larger Midwest cities, you can still get great internet service in Rapid City if you make the right choice.

So what’s the best high-speed internet provider in Rapid City, SD? Let’s look at the speeds to see who comes out on top.

Internet Speeds for Rapid City, SD

Out of the four internet providers in Rapid City, SD, Vast Broadband has the fastest available speeds, with its top service for the area offering 125 Mbps downloads—with 200 Mbps available in some Vast Broadband areas. Serving what was formerly the WOW! Cable service area, Vast Broadband is available in about 95% of homes.

Available in 100% of homes in Rapid City proper, up next in terms of speed is Midcontinent Communications with a top available speed of 100 Mbps. If you live in an area where Vast is not available, this is the fastest option.

Coming in third place at 80 Mbps is Centurylink, with HughesNet satellite internet bringing up the rear with a top speed of 25 Mbps.

Who to Choose

With a combination of speed and affordability, Vast Broadband offers the best option for high-speed internet in Rapid City, SD. If you live in an area not served by Vast Broadband, Midcontinent Communications is the way to go, and if you’re in a rural area not reached by wired internet services, HughesNet offers a satellite option.

Check back often to the TV, Internet and Phone Blog for more recommendations and evaluations for high-speed internet and cable TV services in a city near you.

HughesNet Launches Gen5 High Speed Internet

About 46% of total internet installations in people’s homes fall below download speeds of 25Mbps, leaving almost half of the homes in the United States with substandard internet services in comparison to the rest of the country. Many of these underserved homes fall in rural areas outside of the purview of major landline internet providers, where they have determined the cost to build the infrastructure necessary to bring fiber optic internet into homes is not worth what they would make in return.

Satellite internet company HughesNet is looking to even the playing field a little bit. In December, they launched their EchoStar XIX satellite, which is now safely in orbit with all systems go and ready to provide satellite internet plans featuring 25Mbps download speeds with their Gen5 service.

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With this new expansion of their high-speed internet services, Hughes expects to be able to compete for a lot of people still using DSL, dial-up, and other older internet technologies.

“One are we think is a cause of great frustration is low-speed DSL,” said Hughes EVP Mike Cook. “It’s a copper-based technology that telcos are not investing in. We think for people who are on that, HughestNet Gen V is a tremendous upgrade in service capability.”

The expansion of the satellite network also allows Hughes to help shed data caps. Under its new service, Hughes customers will have “soft” data caps – once they hit their data limit, the service will downgrade their priority in terms of service (meaning things will slow down at certain times of day) rather than cutting off service completely. The latter is a source of some consternation to satellite internet customers. Customers will also get a free 50GB worth of data per month if that data’s used during off-peak hours.

The big perk of this is that DSL and satellite customer who previously weren’t able to use streaming services like Hulu, Netflix or Amazon Prime will now have the opportunity. (Although Cook recommends sticking to standard def in order to avoid capping your data plan.) The plans are cost-competitive, too, with consumer plans starting at $49.99 per month and business plans at $69.99 per month.

While satellite internet does not offer all the benefits that some of the higher-level services in more urban and suburban areas offer, it is improving, and HughesNet is leading the way.

HughesNet Satellite Internet Now Available from

Many rural areas are underserved by high speed internet providers. Cable and DSL providers as well as phone company providers do not have the infrastructure available to wire less populated areas, meaning that for a long time, many outlying areas have been stuck with dial-up.

That’s no longer the case, as now offers HughesNet high speed satellite internet. HughesNet is on its fourth generation of high speed satellite internet, with a number of improvements that bring satellite internet into competition with cable internet and DSL internet.

HughesNet Gen4 is the result of a partnership with Echostar, a leader in satellite technology. Echostar XVII, a new satellite, launched on July 4, 2012, bringing an expansion in the area covered by HughesNet satellite internet, along with an expansion in the technology available; here are a few ways you can do more with HughesNet Gen4:

  • Get Increased Web Speeds – Up to 15 Mbps downloads
  • Increased Data Allowance – 40GB per month
  • The Latest Technology – Jupiter High Throughput Technology
  • Wide Price Ranges – The perfect plan available for any budget
  • Service and Support – Tech support 24/7, all in the USA
  • Professional Installation
  • Innovation

As a provider of consumer electronics and home entertainment systems, is proud to add HughesNet satellite internet to its suite of offerings. Now customers in rural areas are not only able to get flat screen televisions, audio systems, speakers and soundbars, they can also get the internet service needed to take advantage of the latest in smart TVs and streaming services.

Through, it is also possible to get satellite television via DIRECTV and cable and internet through Charter Communications. Through these services, has the whole spectrum of services covered, as well as the majority of the United States.

Rural Internet Faster than Ever Before

Many areas of the United States are underserved when it comes to high speed internet. Cable and telecom providers do not provide high speed internet access to many rural areas, as they have not seen enough profit to expand their networks into sparsely populated areas. There is a great option for rural area high speed internet, though, that many people do not know about: HughesNet Gen4, the fourth-generation high speed satellite internet service.

HughesNet satellite internet’s Gen4 offers dramatically improved performance and higher speeds than earlier satellite internet platforms. Here are just a few of the advantages available with the new HughesNet package.

  1. Increased Web Speeds: Speeds up to 15 Mbps are available, as much as 15 times faster than previous satellite internet packages.
  2. The Greatest Data Allowance: HughesNet Gen4 provides the highest data allowance of any satellite internet service, up to 40GB per month.
  3. A Cutting-Edge Satellite Network: HughesNet’s satellite internet service is built on the most advanced satellite network in the industry, using high-capacity satellites and on-the-ground equipment including the newly launched Echostar XVII satellite.
  4. A Range of Plans: HughesNet offers a range of plans for everyone from the casual internet user to the hardcore online junkie.
  5. Tech Support You Can Trust: HughesNet operations centers are staffed with qualified engineers to help you at any time; no matter what time you call, you’ll get tech support based in the USA every time.
  6. Professional Installation
  7. Innovation: HughesNet has been innovating in the field of satellite technology for more than 30 years.

If you live in a rural area that’s not served by providers like Charter Communications, Comcast, or Time Warner Cable, HughesNet is the best option for you. We recommend Mid-America Satellite for setup and installation. Contact Mid-America Satellite today if you’re interested.

EchoStar Seeks Patent for Satellite TV Subscriber Weather Stations

EchoStar, the company behind HughesNet satellite internet and a company working with DIRECTV and DISH Network, has filed a patent application for weather stations that could be installed on the roof of a satellite TV subscriber to monitor how storms are having an impact upon satellite reception, as well as delivering hyperlocal weather reports to subscribers. According to FierceCable, if EchoStar succeeds in developing the technology, DIRECTV, DISH Network, and HughesNet could use these weather stations to compete with local weather programming as supplied by cable competitors.

The company is seeking to eliminate the loss of signal that sometimes occurs due to rain fade during strong storms. If these new weather stations are in place, EchoStar notes that satellite TV customer service representatives may be able to tell if outages are caused by weather or other technical problems, which can result in developing better technology and fewer costly service calls. These weather stations will also compete with Weatherscan, which is available from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and other cable providers and offers detailed local weather information. Weatherscan is not available on DISH or DIRECTV.

With the new weather stations, weather reports will be accessible via a set-top box and recordable via DVR. Other features include weather alerts that are set up by the customer; for example, a customer might want to be notified of freezing conditions ahead of time in order to protect plants outdoors, or avoid watering if rain is impending.

There is no word on how soon EchoStar might begin trying to commercialize these weather stations, as the patent has not yet been approved. The inventor is listed as Samuel Whitley, an EchoStar engineer based in Cheyenne, WY. The patent application was submitted in 2010. Check back at the TV, Internet and Phone Blog for updates as they become available about this possible new innovation in satellite TV technology.

By 2017, High-Speed Internet Will Cover 85 Percent of the World

According to a Traffic and Market Report by Ericsson, 85 percent of the world will be covered by high-speed, broadband mobile internet. The Traffic and Market report, entitled “On the Pulse of the Networked Society,” posits that 85 percent of the world will be covered by 3G provided by satellite internet and other means, and that 50 percent of the world will be covered by 4G mobile networks. Other interesting data in the report include:

  • There will be as many as 3 billion smartphone subscriptions in 2017
  • Global data traffic will grow 15 times by the end of 2017
  • More than 6.2 mobile subscriptions already exist

For many people across the world, access to internet through cables is not an option. In those areas, satellite internet companies like Exede and HughesNet, available through Mid America Satellite, use satellites pointed in the proper direction depending upon their location north or south to provide satellite internet connections. For those who cannot access these satellite internet options, mobile internet usage will be the only possible connection, thus the predicted increase of smartphone usage and the growth of 3G and 4G mobile networks.

Many of the areas without access to satellite internet for the home are in Asia. In America, companies like Exede and HughesNet use their southern-pointed satellites to fill in the gaps left open by other internet providers, such as cable and phone companies. These companies serve primarily rural areas outside of the service areas of larger cable and phone providers who also deal in internet services, but are available to those living in suburban and urban areas as well. As long as there is a view of the southern sky, these satellite internet connections should provide the same sort of access given by major internet providers.

Companies like these, and the growing mobile networks, will mean that in five years, the vast majority of the world will have internet access. This can only be a good thing.