From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 14:34:40 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

The Last Mile: Broadband and the Next Internet Revolution

   by Norman Meyrowitz / Jason Wolf / Natalie Zee

    --publication date not specified--


   Available for download now

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Editorial description(s):

Book Description
"The word is broadband and companies hope the sky is the limit."­­The New York Times, March 23, 1999 How big is broadband? Its implementation will affect all 201 million current Internet users. The Last Mile provides the business community with the first look at this next Internet revolution. Discussing the business impact, strengths, and weaknesses of broadband in non-technical terms, managers and executives will learn how to become major players in the new digital future. From definition to implementation, The Last Mile clearly shows readers how broadband can impact their businesses for success. Here, professionals will learn: how this latest Internet buzzword actually works; the technology behind broadband; how it is likely to affect various other industries; its overall limitations and how to deal with them; and how to identify new opportunities in the market due to the evolution of broadband. --This text refers to the

Reader review(s):

Simple, Nontechnical Introduction to Broadband Issues, September 10, 2000
This book is aimed at the business executive and small business owner with no current knowledge of broadband, and assumes no technical background in Internet technology. The book focuses on explaining the terminology of broadband, the trends involved, their business communications and product implications, and how Web-based businesses may be affected.

If you know what broadband is or have seen it in action with multimedia sites, you are beyond this book.

Broadband is simply a way of describing the ability to rapidly move screenfuls of data to and from an electronic device (such as your personal computer) more rapidly than you can blink. The result is to create something that can be a combination of interactive television, video phone, and multimedia experience rolled into new directions by using information to customize it for you. In essence, broadband eliminates many of the remaining limits to information technology coming into its full flowering for the average person.

If you work for a large company and are dealing with another large company in a computer application, the information is almost certainly traveling at broadband speeds. If you are at home on a dial-up connection, you are operating in the old mode. By 2002, it is estimated that 16 million consumer users will have broadband connections. The authors believe that telephone and power companies will be the winners over cable companies in creating this connection at home.

The main implication for businesses is that products and services for consumers will have to be greatly upgraded in content, interactivity, and use of information to match the potential of the technology in the next 5 to 10 years as the broadband connections become widely available at home. Since this process will be difficult to implement, many companies should begin now to make the transition. Your first experiments will probably not succeed.

The book is a light, easy read. The best parts are the wild-blue-yonder, what's-coming-next speculations. The authors seem to have a Stan Davis-type ability to conceptualize what does not yet exist in an interesting way. I especially enjoyed the humor in the list of 10 reasons to dread "smart" electronic appliances. For example, the one attached to your pillow may allow your boss to find out that you are late because you overslept.

If this is a new subject for you, be sure to read this book. If it is not, be sure to work on getting a lead on your competitors in preparing for broadband technology.

When you are done doing those things, then ask what other technologies are about to disrupt your business and find out more about them as well. For example, how will holography affect you?

May lots of health, happiness, peace and prosperity be yours!

Broadband for Everyone, August 12, 2000
The internet is here and everywhere, in television ads, in print ads on billboards. Where is it going and how can I understand this supersonic train? THE LAST MILE gives the reader a very clear idea what is in the future for internet applications. This is a book for everyone - from a technology side it is well researched, and written so that anyone can understand what is happening and where it is all going. I highly recommend this book, and I think it appeals to a wide range of readers - those who are in the field, to any business big or small who already uses internet and wants a leading advantage, and even to those who are just learning the concept of the cyber-age and all it's implications. It's a great read!

I want my money back, November 1, 2000
The Last Mile was written by two former Shockwave employees, now with March First's interactive division. Let me start by stating that I consider March First one of the few interactive agencies that truly "get it." However, after reading The Last Mile, its obvious that someone at March First should start reviewing books before they go to press with their name attached. For starters, the writing in this book is extremely poor. For example, this excerpt regarding the complications involved with DSL installations; "The next day a real service guy showed up, wearing an open shirt with the gold chains and a serious leather tool belt that the customer said looked like the one he had bought because he just loved his job so much (huh?). The customer thought to himself "this is the man." He looked as if he was ready to start a fight with anyone that talked bad about DSL. This guy came in like Mr. Spock in the original Star Trek movie and rewired the warp drive engine. He rewired the setup and told the customer that he was ready to make the jump to light speed." The passage rambles on (including run on sentences, and grammatical errors) and concludes with; "He thought of some technical reason as to why this might be normal and forgot about it, until he asked his wife if she ever tried using both her DSL and Powerbook modem. "Yup, all the time," she said. For the love of God, he thought"

PLEASE - who is the target audience of this book? CEO's interested in understanding broadband capabilities and positioning their business for the broadband revolution don't want to read writing in the style of "Spot goes to the Park".

The Last Mile also (conveniently) features a case study on - although I find the site entertaining, how this fits into helping CEOs to understand business applications based on broadband is beyond me. (It's also nice to see that the book gets kudos from the creative officer of

The book continuously repeats itself (obviously written by two different writers with no editor) and jumps around; confusing the reader as to what is the message of each chapter.

The Last Mile is mainly geared towards justifying the need for interactive designers (coincidentally the writers' are interactive designers) and using interactive elements such as video and flash animation because the bandwidth will be available.

When developing strategies around positioning businesses online, interactive elements should be only used if they make sense to the target audience and are necessary to help solve business problems; not simply because the technology is available. This is never mentioned in the book.

I was extremely disappointed with the unprofessional approach taken in writing (and editing) this book. The Last Mile book was painful to get through. I hope someone at March First is reading this. I want my money back.

Broadband Finally Makes More Sense, August 15, 2000
Though initially apprehensive about reading this book, I needed to for work and I am so happy I did. I was expecting the typically wordy, overly-technical writing that so many similar books suffer from, but THE LAST MILE was written in a language I could not only understand, but learn from. Broadband will soon be taking businesses by storm and I am now one step closer to taking part in all that it has to offer. By demystifying the unknown, I feel better equipped to move forward. This is a terrific book for anyone who wants to expand their realm of understanding and not get left behind in our new economy.

Gushing Superficial Intro to Broadband for ?e-life?, October 30, 2000
`The Last Mile' is a colloquial, gushing, superficial and repetitive introduction to US broadband presenting basic "e-life" brainstorms (i.e. work and play).

In three parts, the unreferenced and poorly structured chapters span:

+ Part one: the broadband revolution- building the foundation for broadband; what is broadband; the last mile deployment studies; and Palm case study.

+ Part two: the impact of broadband- the world economy with Kodak case study; changing culture with TBWA/Chiat/Day case study; and the changing culture with case study.

+ Part three the changing landscape- new business networks with Columbia Tristar Interactive case study; the changing technologies with ReplayTV case study; and final thoughts on reaching the last mile.

Unfortunately, the strengths are limited to the enthusiasm of tone, and brevity of the book. Non-techies can do much better than reading this.

Weaknesses include: the extreme repetition between sections (perhaps 40% of a short book!); a very shallow treatment of subject; textual "slips" always representing US significantly more favorably than the case (compared with actual figures given in book itself) as well as mostly US focus; the scrappy illustrations, typos, missing illustration & inconsistencies; a seemingly Macromedia-advert focus; a lack of analysis or justification for "broadband will come" beyond assumption that everyone wants latest technology (but what about the business benefit?); little concern for the global business environment & wider society (and those non-wired countries where broadband will be irrelevant for foreseeable future); little evidence of understanding of any "real" office work processes and technologies; and an "interactivity" focus seemingly of "flaming car graphics" kind satirized in old IBM e-business adverts, rather than anything of benefit to user or company.

Better alternatives include: Siegel's Futurize Your Enterprize (for e-life mindset and enthusiasm primer), and Mitchells' E-topia for a more rigorous view of wired technology impacts including broadband on the built environment.

Overall, a quick web-search reveals more than this disappointing "throwaway" book- so perhaps only of use to those not yet using the Internet (who yet may be put off by the "tech-nerd-appeal" bookcover).

How many times can you state the obvious?, January 6, 2001
What did this book tell me:

1. The internet is popular

2. People accessing web pages sometimes have to wait for files to download

3. Technology will improve things

4. Technology might even continue to advance in the future

Thanks for sharing. This book is like a person who talks a great deal but never actually says anything original or useful.

Can you believe it?, April 10, 2001
Can you believe that the publisher expects us to pay the same price for an electronic version of the book that we can only read on one computer as for the hard back version that we can read, pass along to friends, and then donate to a library? This is absurd, and the only possible response is for readers to boycott this title and McGraw-Hill Publishing, the publisher, until it dawns on the publisher that economies should be passed on to the readers, just as economies were passed along when paperback books were introduced. Doing so is just good business since lower prices will spark a lagging publishing industry and electronic publishing will allow publishers to see their back list with virtually zero marginal cost. Wake up and smell the coffee.

novice authors, little knowledge, September 22, 2000
I was quite surprised how much of a dry, uninformative, redundant book this was. I realize that there were two authors, I don't believe they communicated with each other as many subjects were absolutely repeated several times. In fact the first author referred to Kosmo and the second author referred to Kozmo (both referring to the same company). I brought very little new knowledge from reading this book and would recommend something written by people informed a little more about the subject.

Authors were obviously very excited about the subject (and their old company macromedia) however they veered off into subjects that basically repeated any other internet related business book that exists. We get it, the internet is changing the world, you're a little late to the dance! I have to say that they didn't use the book to tout their organization and try to win business (if they did mean to do that, they did a very poor job), which is admirable.

Not what I expected, February 17, 2001
I was really disappointed by this book. It did a poor job of going into detail (I wasn't looking for too much detail) of broadband technologies in use today. It also barely even touched wireless broaband to the home or to enterprises. Furthermore, the information was dated even though the hardcopy version I bought had a copyright date of 2001. Clearly, the book must've been written in late 1999 or early 2000. In this rapidly changing industry, that's too long ago. I also have to agree with another reader that I can't tell who this book was intended for? What was the target audience?

Broadband for Dummies, August 30, 2000
I found this book extremely beneficial in determining the effect this new technology will have on my growing business and what I need to do to hop onto the Broadband-wagon. The language and diagrams are easy to read and understand, proving invaluable to me and will help anyone who is technically challenged.

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