Wireless Brings Connectivity to Rural America

The wireless industry has made great strides to bring wireless coverage to rural America. We believe that every American community should have access to the connectivity and power of wireless networks. We are proud of our investment in rural America and look forward to working with policymakers to continue expanding the number of Americans with mobile broadband.

Bringing High-Speed Wireless to All Americans

The first 4G networks were rolled out in the U.S. in 2010. Today—just seven years later—these high-speed mobile networks cover 99.7% of all Americans, in urban and rural areas alike.

Rural Wireless Broadband Coverage
(By Population)


Population served


Population unserved

Rural Wireless Broadband Coverage
(By Miles)


Miles served


Miles Unserved

Nearly 99% of rural Americans have 4G access.
Today, nearly 99% of the 56 million Americans living in rural areas have access to at least one 4G provider, with just 1.1% of the rural population left to go, a number that shrinks every year.

Rural America benefits from wireless competition.
Over 84% of rural Americans can choose between three or more 4G providers—an almost 30% increase over the last 18 months alone.

Wireless covers more than 96% of rural road miles.
Our wireless networks reach 4.3 million rural road miles, with just 4% remaining.

How Policymakers Can Help Expand Wireless in Rural America

Even as bringing wireless to rural areas presents challenges—like sparse populations over expansive distances that contain often difficult topography—the wireless industry is committed to working with government to find solutions that bring wireless to our rural communities.

Policymakers can help by incentivizing private investment, bringing down costs of deployment and service, and offering government funding areas. Specific policies include:

  • Bringing more spectrum, particularly low-band spectrum that is ideal for serving rural areas, to market.
  • Modernizing infrastructure siting rules at the local, state, tribal and federal levels to make deployment more cost effective.
  • Quickly launching the USF Mobility Fund’s second phase, which will provide $453M annually, to extend 4G in rural areas.
  • Supporting national/rural provider partnerships that have brought 4G to millions of rural Americans across hundreds of thousands of square miles.

The Wireless Industry
Invests Across America

Trends on rural coverage demonstrate the wireless industry’s commitment to serving more Americans each year. The industry is working with policymakers to enhance government data sets so they most accurately reflect these increases in service.