[LMB] Re: Tsunamis and Meteorites OT:

Scott Raun sraun at fireopal.org
Tue, 4 Jan 2005 12:32:45 -0600

On Tue, Jan 04, 2005 at 12:48:15PM -0500, Peter H. Granzeau wrote:
> At 18:29 01/03/2005, Scott Raun wrote:
> >(1) "last mile" is a handy telecommunications term. Your telephone
> >system consists of phone to local switch to (intermediate steps
> >including big backbone systems) to local switch to phone. The "last
> >mile" is the distance from the local switch to the phone (i.e., your
> >house or business). The cost of _installing_ copper or fiber or
> >whatever to provide universal coverage from the local switch to all
> >the users dwarfs the cost of the rest of the network.
> A term rapidly reaching obsolescence, it seems.  Everyone now seems to walk 
> around with a cell phone stuck to his or her ear.  Weave a cell phone, but 
> it is literally never used (my spouse carries it around in her purse just 
> in case the car breaks down or something).  All our telephoning is still 
> done through copper wire, but we are OLD.

Until someone pulls a miracle out of the air, the last mile problem
will continue exist, if somewhat ameliorated by cell phones.  Right
now, there is NOTHING to equal copper or fiber if you want high-speed
bandwidth - there's not enough room in the spectrum to broadcast the
packets for everyone.  So, you have to do point-to-point - which means
(right now) either wire or laser.  "Last Mile" is going to be an
on-going problem for some years in the data transmission industry.

Scott Raun
sraun at fireopal.org