why internet service provider coverage works like it does


why internet service coverage is how it is- i was looking into getting a different internet provider, but what i wanted isnt available for my address. when i checked the coverage map, it shows covered areas surrounding me, but not in my actual area, less then half a mile away from the covered areas. and theres quite a lot covered around me. why does it work like this? (i apologize if this is the incorrect way to post this question, i just want to clarify what i mean)

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Most ISPs require a physical cable connection between your home and their hub. If they don’t have infrastructure in place, or leased, in your exact neighborhood they can’t offer service.

Providers agree with each other to not overlap their true coverage zones so that they can ensure customers will have to get their service. So thats why many places only have one or two options

Edit: in the US at least. It’s def different in Asia + other parts but I dont know about the EU

Because the Internet companies need to have the infrastructure to get that service to you. There needs to be all the equipment necessary for this, from substations (for lack of a better term) that takes the information from higher up the chain and splits it to the different customers, to the poles and wires themselves. Then it has to be sent down the lines and into your house.

All of that costs a lot of money to build and maintain. If there aren’t enough potential customers in the area, it’s not worth their money to pay the infrastructure out because it would take so long to turn a profit.

Internet providers need to run physical cables to each home they service, so that means having lines that go down a particular road, etc. in order to then split off and run to each house. They also need signal repeaters/switching station or other hardware every certain distance in order for service to get to home. So if they haven’t installed a line down your street yet, or don’t have hardware close enough to your house, they cannot offer service.

My community recently got a new provider and we saw as they came through, ripping up sidewalks, roads & alleys to run their fiber-optic cables throughout the area before they began offering services, which then meant running cables from the newly installed lines into homes.

This is what is called the “last mile” problem.

In order to get the internet to you the ISP needs to have some sort of line to connect to you.

They usually have some sort of hub centrally located in a neighborhood or similar and connect to individual households from there.

They might not set up such a hub in places where they don’t think they will get enough customers to make it worth their while even if there is a hub near you there might not be a connection your your house. Somebody might have to dig up the street first to lay down some cable or fiber.

These things also tend to be limited in length depending on the technology. You might end up with situations where your neighbor down the street is just close enough to be connected and you are too far away.

In most cases this means if you want internet you will have to make do with a lesser type of connection that is not as fast but which can be connected to your home without these problems.

If you live somewhere rural or poor your ISP might be convinced to roll out their latest tech to your neighborhood if they can be convinced that there are enough customers there to make up make it worth their while.

I have heard of businesses who didn’t take this into account when setting up a new location and had to pay though the nose to have their new building connected, because it was in an are where previously not high speed internet was available.