Thursday, August 03, 2017

"Middle mile" and America's incomplete, balkanized telecom infrastructure

On broadband internet availability | Kenbridge Victoria Dispatch: Mid-Atlantic Broadband was created with an investment by the Tobacco Commission and a matching investment from the federal government 15 years ago. It was created as a non-profit company to connect the tobacco region to the major internet centers around the world. It has been extremely successful in providing connections for the data centers in Mecklenburg (H-P Enterprises and Microsoft) as well as other companies in the region. Mid-Atlantic was not established to provide services to households, but rather to be a partner with providers who would hopefully provide the “last mile” to your house or business. Regrettably, those last-mile providers have not been as aggressive as we had hoped. (Emphasis added)

That last sentence illustrates the usually unfounded belief that building advanced telecommunications fiber trunk lines will stimulate the deployment of infrastructure to customer premises. Even though the logical purpose of so-called "middle mile" infrastructure is to feed infrastructure serving those very premises.

Sell side market failure typically results when hopes for those connections are based on a vertically integrated, investor owned business model. The return on investment for such entities is too long to make the business case for connecting premises other than so-called "anchors" such as schools, libraries and business parks. It's part and parcel of America's widespread pattern of balkanized, incomplete telecom infrastructure and disparate access.

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