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I'm considering a move to a rural area where there are only two internet service providers. The only information we can get as to the availability and performance is from the home owners who are selling and the companies providing the service, but nothing concrete. I work from home, so internet access is very important and I don't want to buy a house to find out later that I won't be able to work.

I'd like to know if I can place a contingency on a real estate offer, much like a home inspection, that will allow me to temporarily activate an ISP service at a home for the purpose of evaluating it before committing to a purchase.

Is this possible?

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    Hmmm... First - where? Second - do they have internet there now? If so - can you just spend half a day there and work from their living room as part of the inspection process?
    – littleadv
    Jun 28, 2014 at 6:00
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    Watch out for claims from companies providing internet access in rural areas. I live on the fringes of a town where two phone companies claim to provide DSL service but neither can provide DSL to my home because it is too far from their nearest hub. Jun 28, 2014 at 13:36
  • Use the national broadband map (broadbandmap.gov) to find companies that claim to provide internet service in that area and then call them up and give them the address. They should be able to give you a definitive answer just like they would for a prospective customer.
    – JohnFx
    Jun 28, 2014 at 17:58

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Of course it is. If it's that important, you should add the contingency exactly as you describe. If they wish to sell the house, this isn't a burden that should concern them. Unless of course, no internet is available.

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    Good answer. You can propose a sale contingent on anything. And the seller can choose to accept or reject your proposal. Make sure your lawyer comes up with an effective way to validate the availability/speed that you are seeking, and include that in your proposal. Jun 28, 2014 at 14:36

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