[Air-l] "last mile" query

Heidelberg, Chris Chris.Heidelberg at ssa.gov
Fri Sep 8 13:16:16 PDT 2006


Jonathan:

Ellijah is correct about this being a telecom term, and that is now
being co-opted. I am writing my dissertation in part on convergence and
I found that the telecom break up is critical to convergence of much of
modern communications because it opened up the gateway for AT&T's
patents to be used for both their intended and non-intended purposes and
created innovation competition (Bagdikian, 2005;Jenkins, 2006;Lessig,
2004) that resulted in the commercialization of the Internet, cable
de-regulation (Cable Act of 1984 occurred that same year), the
Sony-Betmax case and eventually the Telecomm Act of 1996 and the DMCA
which was designed to protect the property of the newly merged companies
(Time/Warner, Viacom etc) from digital technologies. 

The interesting thing is that most of this technology was developed
during or immediately after WWII when the military,research universities
and private industry created the partnership that created convergence,
modern globalism, the Internet, space exploration and the computer age.


-----Original Message-----
From: air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org
[mailto:air-l-bounces at listserv.aoir.org] On Behalf Of elw at stderr.org
Sent: Friday, September 08, 2006 1:49 PM
To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
Subject: Re: [Air-l] "last mile" query




That's a telco industry term, not originally an academic term.

The telephone network is very different between switching stations than
it is between those switching stations and individual homes.  Thus, the
"last mile" terminology originated as a way of pointing out that the
edge-of-network deployment issues were very different than those
surrounding the core network - which is often made up of fiber,
microwave links, et cetera.  Things that you wouldn't expect to have run
from the switching station to the curb in front of your
house/apartment/etc.

"last mile" has of course been co-opted and adopted by people who want
to talk about cable, fiber to the curb, etc.  But -- start with practice
in the telecoms industry.

[You might consider hunting around in some of the testimony from the Ma
Bell monopoly case...]

--elijah



On Fri, 8 Sep 2006, Jonathan Sterne wrote:

> Date: Fri, 08 Sep 2006 13:03:37 -0400
> From: Jonathan Sterne <jonathan.sterne at mcgill.ca>
> Reply-To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
> To: air-l at listserv.aoir.org
> Subject: [Air-l] "last mile" query
> 
> Hi All,
>
> This is a request for bibliographic help.
>
> I can find countless resources that USE the idea of the "last mile" to

> talk about end user access issues in a wide range of contexts.  But I 
> am having a much harder time tracking down the origins of the term or 
> its early development with respect to cable, the internet and other 
> networked technologies.
>
> Any suggestions would be much appreciated, including suggestions for 
> "classic texts" in the development of the idea.
>
> Thank you.
>
> --Jonathan
>
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