10/5/2017 5:36 PM
Understanding the “Last Mile”
The last mile or last kilometer is a colloquial phrase widely used in the telecommunications, cable television and internet industries to refer to the final leg of the telecommunications networks that deliver telecommunication services to retail end-users (customers). More specifically, the last mile refers to the portion of the telecommunications network chain that physically reaches the end-user’s premises. Examples are the copper wire subscriber lines connecting landline telephones to the local telephone exchange; coaxial cable service drops carrying cable television signals from utility poles to subscribers’ homes, and cell towers linking local cell phones to the cellular network. The word “mile” is used metaphorically; the length of the last mile link may be more or less than a mile.
In recent years, usage of the term “last mile” has expanded outside the communications industries, to include other distribution networks that deliver goods to customers, such as the pipes that deliver water and natural gas to customer premises, and the final legs of mail and package delivery services.
All told, the “Last Mile” of connectivity is the internet of everything. It is the infrastructure data science.