The term last mile denotes the portion of a network which connects to the end user (a house or apartment, for example). The term is widely used in the power, gas and telecom industries.
In telecommunications, the term is used to refer to the line connecting a central distribution point with a household telecom connection.
The last mile in a telecom network is currently made up of either an optical fiber connection (FTTH), a coaxial connection (cable) or a copper phone line.
In a broadband connection, the last mile often represents a bottleneck through which data is transferred at a relatively low speed to and from a high-speed telecom network. This is the case, for example, when a low-speed copper phone line is used to connect a home to a high-speed optical fiber network. In this setup, which is common in Switzerland, the end user cannot take full advantage of optical fiber data transfer speeds.
Swiss broadband plan comparison