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The middle mile (also written middle-mile)

[r]efers generally to the transport and transmission of data communications from the central office, cable headend or wireless switching station to an Internet point of presence.[1]
infrastructure provides a link from the Internet backbone to the last-mile networks of local providers (such as cable or phone companies) that provide broadband service to end users.[2]


The middle mile includes, among other things, the centralized facilities and all of the equipment in those facilities, except for any equipment that would qualify as part of a last mile component.

"Middle mile facilities provide relatively fast, large-capacity connections between backbone and last mile, similar to the way a divided highway may connect local roads to multi-lane interstate highways. Middle mile facilities can range from a few miles to a few hundred miles. They are often constructed of fiber optic lines, but microwave and satellite links can be used as well.[3]

"It appears that most fiber optic, middle-mile facilities, like backbone, exist along public rights of way. Other middle miles include fixed wireless and satellite links."[4]

"Many middle mile facilities were originally built by telephone and cable companies for ordinary telecommunications or cable television services. For example, the fiber optic connections that transport telephone traffic between telephone company central offices can be considered middle mile facilities."[5]

"The availability of broadband service to end users depends on access to adequate middle-mile facilities, which can be costly to deploy in rural areas."[6]


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