Abstract - The Information Society 16(2)

The First Mile

Sharon Strover

This paper argues that the current universal service policies fail to appreciate first mile issues, that is, how connectivity looks, feels and behaves from the subscriber’s perspective. For individuals and households, connectivity is not just merely a stretch of wire but an important connection that takes them out to a broader world, encapsulating network interface devices, the software, training, as well as incentives to create content and contribute to community. Universal service should represent the sum total of the capabilities that extend users into the networked nation, rather than just a “last mile” collection of vendor-related concerns and constraints.

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