Homes with Tails

17 Pages Posted: 26 Nov 2008

See all articles by Tim Wu

Tim Wu

Columbia University - Law School

Derek Slater

Google Inc.

Date Written: November 24, 2008

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

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

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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