James B. Speta


The technology to supply almost limitless bandwidth is now at hand. Broadband networks already occupy the top tiers of the telephone network, operated by regional and national telephone companies, and the top tiers of the broadcast networks, operated by video carriers. Only the last mile remains to be conquered. tt This Article evaluates the battle to conquer the last mile, by surveying the leading platforms and technologies for providing broadband telecommunications to individual customers. The Article also describes current regulation of those platforms, focusing on the extent to which the owners must provide open access to unaffiliated companies wishing to use the platforms. Addressing current arguments made by companies seeking mandatory open access rules for broadband platforms, this Article concludes that the nature of consumer demand for a broadband access platform, which will be strongly responsive to the variety of content services made available over the platform, makes open access rules unnecessary and potentially counterproductive.

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