The connection between the customer and the telephone company, cable company or ISP. The last mile has traditionally used copper-based telephone wire or coaxial cable, but optical fiber is increasingly used, and wireless technologies offer an alternative. Also called "first mile." See WiMAX, local loop and EFM.
Generally referring to the telco local loop, which is the link between the central office (CO) at the edge of the telco network and the user premises. In a broader contemporary context, the term applies to the physical connection between the edge of any service provider's network and the end user's premises. In practice, the last mile is often much longer than a mile. In the United States, UTP local loops are generally 12,000 feet or less, but often are as long as 18,000 feet. Passive optical network (PON) standards allow for local loops as long as 12 miles (20 km).Whether it is the first mile or the last mile, which is a matter of perspective, it is seldom exactly a mile. Sometimes referred to as the first mile. See also central office, local loop, and PON.