Homes With Tails

What if You Could Own Your Internet Connection?

America's communications infrastructure is stuck at a copper wall. For the vast majority of homes, copper wires remain the principal means of getting derek slaterbroadband services. The deployment of fiber optic connections to the home would enable exponentially faster connections, and few dispute that upgrading to more robust infrastructure is essential to America's economic growth. However, the costs of such an upgrade are daunting for private sector firms and even for governments. These facts add up to a public policy challenge.

Last week the New America Foundation's Wireless Future Program released a new working paper proposing a novel idea to solve this problem: consumer-owned fiber connections.

In Homes with Tails: What if you Could Own your Internet Connection?, New America fellow, Tim Wu and Google Policy Analyst, Derek Slater, proposed a model that encourages consumers to purchase and own the "last-mile" connection that runs into their home. By purchasing their own fiber optic connections, consumers would be able to connect to a variety of service providers. This model holds the potential for higher broadband speeds, greater competition, and lower Internet service prices.

New America also hosted a companion event where the authors discussed their proposal. Additional speakers included Wireless Future's Research Director, Sascha Meinrath; the President and Founder of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, Robert Atkinson; and Link Hoewing, Assistant Vice President for Internet and Technology Issues at Verizon.


New America Foundation
1630 Connecticut Ave NW 7th Floor
Washington, DC, 20009
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Tim Wu
Professor of Law, Columbia Law School
Fellow, New America Foundation
Co-Author, Homes with Tails

Derek Slater
Policy Analyst, Google Inc.
Co-Author, Homes with Tails

Sascha Meinrath
Research Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation

Michael Calabrese
Director, Wireless Future Program, New America Foundation