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Homes with Tails

Tim Wu

Columbia University - Law School

Derek Slater

Google, Inc.

November 24, 2008

America's communications infrastructure is stuck at a copper wall. For the vast majority of homes, copper wires remain the principal means of getting broadband services. The deployment of fiber optic connections to the home would enable exponentially faster connections, and few dispute that upgrading to more robust infrastructure is essential to America's economic growth. However, the costs of such an upgrade are daunting for private sector firms and even for governments. These facts add up to a public policy challenge.

Our intuition is that an innovative model holds unrealized promise: household investments in fiber. Consumers may one day purchase and own fiber connections that run from their homes. They would then be able to connect to a variety of service providers, including today's Internet, television, and telephone services, as well as ultra-bandwidth intensive services of the future. Consumers would have the opportunity not only to get a fast broadband connection, but also benefit from greater competition and lower prices in the retail service market.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 17

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Date posted: November 26, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Wu, Tim and Slater, Derek, Homes with Tails (November 24, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1306745 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1306745

Contact Information

Tim Wu
Columbia University - Law School ( email )
435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States
Derek Slater (Contact Author)
Google, Inc. ( email )
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Second Floor
Mountain View, CA 94043
United States
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