Where We're Heading: The Global Brain

Back to the future: This paper was published by the International Engineering Consortium in 1998
under the title "The Last Mile: Where Telecommunications Traffic Slows to a Crawl." A decade later
the vision and concepts, with the exception of a few minor details like players' names and corporate
affiliations, are current. Click here to download.

The paper addresses the problem of congestion on the access ramps of the information superhighway and examines both near- and longer-term solutions. The focus is on the customer’s ability to gain access to multiple transit networks and service providers by building bridges into and out of the customer premises and by managing information within the home. The authors recommend a new type of service/connectivity provider, a Local Services Integrator (LSI) operating in the customer loop, and a Customer Premises Integrator (CPI) operating within the residential environment.

  • An LSI may be either the operator of a multiple services network such as an LMDS licensee; a digital-ready CATV operator running over a hybrid fiber/coax infrastructure; a phone company or CLEC using multimegabit DSL technologies; or a heretofore unknown entity with the capital, technology and regulatory authority to negotiate services from any and all providers and to integrate them into an affordable, easy-to-use residential package.
  • The mission of the CPI is to bring to market innovations for the managing of telecommunications traffic within the home.

Since the mix of services will be both symmetric and asymmetric—arriving from more than one service provider using multiple signal formats deployed over a growing number of wireline and wireless media—home applications must be dynamically configurable and controlled by both CPI and customer.

Jos House

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