ISOC-NY has an ongoing effort to mount a ‘last mile’ event centered around Tim Wu.
For those who believe that the US has “an obvious infrastructure
problem” when it comes to broadband, Wu suggested two paths
forward, neither of which is exclusive. The first approach would be
to accept that there’s an enormous amount of market power in the
last mile, and that we need government oversight to ensure a more-
or-less neutral experience and prevent egregious Internet power
grabs. This is the approach that works to lobby the FCC and hopes
to pass Congressional net neutrality legislation.
The other approach recognizes the same last-mile problem but tries
to subvert it by creating more last-mile alternatives. The market
is already working hard on this front through the wireless phone
companies and the backers of mobile “white spaces” devices, but
it’s also being aided by municipal deployments of fiber or WiFi and
other public approaches. We are “too addicted to the phone
companies and the cable companies as a source of bandwidth,” Wu
says. Like energy, we need to develop more alternative sources.