The last mile is the final leg of the network that connects the local points of presence to individual homes, businesses, or end-user devices. This is often considered the most critical and challenging part of the network due to the varying distances, diverse user needs, and potential obstacles that can affect data delivery quality. The goal of the last mile is to provide reliable, high-speed connectivity directly to the end-users.
Last mile networks can take various forms, such as DSL with copper, cable, fiber-optic, wireless (like Wi-Fi or cellular networks), and even satellite connections. The technology used depends on factors like location, available infrastructure, and the desired level of service quality. Last Mile networks typically connect back into regional fiber-based transport networks referred to as the Middle Mile in some parts of the world.
Fiber-to-the-home or FTTH technology plays a vital role in bridging the last mile connectivity gap to undeserved and underserved areas, ensuring that high-speed broadband reaches every corner of the community. Advancements in FTTH technology have made it more feasible to bridge the last mile connectivity gap and provide enhanced internet speeds, reliable connections, and future-proof infrastructure. Governments globally have provided public funding programs to help address this digital divide and last mile and middle mile connectivity.