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The growth of the Internet has been propelled in significant part by user investment in infrastructure: computers, internal wiring, and the connection to the Internet provider. This "bottom-up" investment minimizes the investment burden facing providers. New technologies such as wireless and data transmission over power lines, as well as deregulation of telecommunications and electric utilities, will provide new opportunities for user investment in intelligent infrastructure as leverage points for Internet and broadband access.Recasting the "problem of the last 100 feet" as "the opportunity of the first 100 feet," this book challenges individuals, businesses, and policymakers to rethink fundamental issues in telecommunications policy. The contributors look at options for Internet and broadband access from the perspective of homeowners, apartment complexes, and small businesses. They evaluate the opportunities and obstacles for bottom-up infrastructure development and the implications for traditional and alternative providers at the neighborhood, regional, and national levels. Already, some argue that Internet service will become the common denominator platform on which all other services can be carried.A Publication of the Harvard Information Infrastructure Project.
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