What is the Middle Mile? It's the feeder system that delivers fat pipe to America outside of the top 8 metros - Dallas, Chicago, DC, Atlanta, LA, NYC, San Jose, Miami. Many of the top 70 MSA's have multiple fiber runs connecting them back to these 8 Internet hubs. It's the rest of America - outside the top 70 cities - that need some fiber in the Middle Mile. This is the fiber that will light up some POP's, NOC's, wireless towers.
Middle Mile delivers fat pipe to the distribution system so that the last mile can deliver real broadband. (According to Congressman Boucher that means 50/20 to the home). That kind of speed means that the middle mile has to get bigger (more capacity) and redundant (more than one conduit run).
$170M of the $182M Broadband Stimulus funds went to Middle Mile projects for private companies.