Reaching beyond the Wire: Challenges Facing Wireless for the Last Mile
Forthcoming, Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, Vol 19, No 3
Posted: 27 Jan 2017 Last revised: 8 Apr 2017
Date Written: January 26, 2017
This paper builds on a series of empirical case studies of efforts to develop wireless projects across the U.S. to provide a critical perspective on the major opportunities and challenges facing the future of wireless access to broadband Internet services. Over the past decade, wireless technology and regulation has developed to the point that it is viewed as a potential substitute for cost-effectively delivering Internet access to underserved parts of the U.S. However, in spite of the opportunities offered by wireless to extend the reach of broadband, numerous challenges remain in both rural and urban contexts, such as throughput limitations, regulatory uncertainty, and infrastructure and equipment hurdles. By identifying opportunities and challenges, this paper aims to develop realistic expectations for new entrants and existing wireline broadband providers seeking to diversify into wireless.
Keywords: Wireless, Last Mile, Broadband, Internet, Access
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