"Homes With Tails" sounds like an effort promoting puppy adoption (an excellent cause, we might add), but it's actually a very interesting idea about how to promote universal broadband. Is it compelling, too? Hmm... "Homes With Tails" is the title of a paper authored by Columbia University law professor Tim Wu and Google policy analyst Derek Slater, and it proposes that last mile fiber ownership go the way of condominiums, with individual home owners owning all their household wiring. The paper also suggests creating associations to own and manage common neighborhood network facilities.
The proposal further would create neighborhood hubs that would support an open network environment allowing consumers to choose service providers on a flexible basis, rather than having to commit to one.
Sounds like a telco nightmare, yes? Well, it also sounds like a householder nightmare: Proposing homeowners take on the cost of own and funding a network management association at a time when many can't meet other household cost obligations. That doesn't even count ongoing maintenance costs.
I haven't read the paper, so while I'm picking at the idea a little, I'll also admit that it sounds very creative and noble, and in a way, elegantly connects back to some of the ambitions the telecom industry and the nation had when local exchange competition was authorized almost 13 years ago.
And while you may have stopped listening at the mention of Google, Slater told InternetNews.com this was a personal project and an effort to bat around new ideas: "It was something I worked on on Sundays before football season started."
InternetNews.com has this report
The Internet Innovation Alliance has championed national broadband availability