Last Mile versus First Mile?

first mileFirst Mile or Last Mile?

Think about the concept of  the first mile versus connectivity versus the last mile in telco connectivity solutions, you can create a new way to look at an old problem.  You can change the paradigm.   The source of funding for “the last 100 feet” of connectivity is significant.  Traditional funding sources  for last-mile connectivity are ISPs,  Telcos, cable companies.  These organizations pass along costs to end users.   The government offers rural subsidies, but there are no guarantees.  Government processes can be risky and cumbersome for third party providers.   While new technologies can be costly to develop, there is pressure to bring innovation to the marketplace.   We must meet the demands for higher-bandwidth connections.  Consequently, innovative solutions require R&D funding.   What if instead, the challenge shifted to explore how to applications applied to the first mile as an alternative to last mile solutions?

In large part, the growth of the Internet is propelled  by user investments in infrastructure.  These include computers, internal wiring, and connections to Internet service providers.  This “bottom-up” approach maximizes investment burdens.    Companies providing the Internet services bare the investment burdens.  Thus, creating first-mile versus last-mile solutions are vital to our thriving, competitive U.S. economy.

The FCC rules that access to the Internet is viewed as a utility and not a luxury as of June of 2016.

Court Backs Rules Treating Internet as Utility, Not Luxury.

In the article I quote below (written by CECILIA KANG  on JUNE 14, 2016), she explains the court’s thinking.

“WASHINGTON — High-speed internet service can be defined as a utility, a federal court has ruled in a sweeping decision clearing the way for more rigorous policing of broadband providers and greater protections for web users.

The decision affirmed the government’s view that broadband is as essential as the phone and power.   High-Speed Internet should be available to all Americans.  It should not need close government supervision.

The 2-to-1 decision from a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday came in a case about rules applying to a doctrine known as net neutrality.  This decision now prohibits  broadband companies from blocking or slowing the delivery of internet content to consumers”.

How Does Rural America Obtain HP Internet Access?

The New York Times published an interesting article on August 7, 2016, called “How to Give Rural America Broadband? Look to the Early 1900s.” 

Explore the reality of how rural Americans reach high-speed Internet access today by reading the article.  The article compares today’s model with one used back in the early 1900’s to provide basic telephone services to rural communities to provide businesses and homes with the first mile.

“Now high-speed internet is finally reaching these remote places, but not through the telecom and cable companies that have wired most of urban America.  Instead, local power companies are more often the broadband suppliers — and to bring the service, they are borrowing techniques and infrastructure used to electrify the United States nearly a century ago”.

Enable the “first 100 feet” as an opportunity.  Hence, you can change the model and control of ownership.   Individuals, businesses, and policymakers must rethink fundamental issues that exist in telecommunications, policies.   Thus, problems can be solved with innovative technology.

Finally,  rethink how to enable 100% of American’s access to high-speed Internet by non-traditional providers of telecommunications services such as cities and utilities.  Can this model potentially provide more rural businesses and homes with high-speed Internet?  This is a good question to ask ourselves.






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