American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

last mile definition

The phrase used to describe one of the problems in attaining higher-speed, higher-capacity information flow to every household. It refers to the copper telephone wire that still carries information to households. The limited capacity of the wire slows data transmission even though it is possible to send data over high-capacity systems from anywhere in the world to within the “the last mile” (give or take) before the house. The use of cable technology, fiber optic technology, and wireless satellite technology are several of the solutions used to address this problem.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
We park at the edge of a wheat field and do the last mile and a half silently
  on foot.
It should be stressed that gamers, although brilliantly, only completed the
  last mile.
The changes were made to maximize aerodynamic efficiency and eke every last
  mile from the battery.
Ice or deep snow sometimes makes the last mile difficult, and may require the
  use of skis or snowshoes.
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