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Breaking the Broadband Bottleneck: NTIA Spectrum Sharing Report

Last week, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released a report to Congress concerning proposals to expand commercial spectrum sharing opportunities with government and other systems operating at 5 GHz.  This is a direct result of landmark Congressional action last year, when it directed the NTIA and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to examine whether government might be able to open nearly 200 MHz of additional spectrum to sharing by unlicensed devices.

The proposed spectrum footprint for unlicensed devices would permit operation over a contiguous block of spectrum, from 5150 MHz to 5925 MHz, providing significant new spectrum for Gigabit Wi-Fi, the next gen Wi-Fi technology capable of multi-gigabit throughput speeds.  Among its many benefits, Gigabit Wi-Fi would be a major leap forward, opening the door to real time HD video in hundreds of applications.

The NTIA report represents a tremendous step toward understanding the radio environment presented by government and other systems in the expansion bands, and is a positive contribution to the technical examination that needs to happen before devices can be allowed to operate in the expansion bands. We are looking forward to working with the NTIA and  participating in the upcoming FCC rulemaking next month to address the technical issues about how unlicensed equipment can share spectrum with incumbent users successfully.

We are very pleased that NTIA has reached this important milestone in the examination of whether additional spectrum can be made available for unlicensed devices at 5 GHz.  The new Gigabit Wi-Fi technologies that we are deploying at 5 GHz represent tremendous advancements in radio technology, and will accelerate the use of high definition video in a range of new applications. In hospitals, manufacturing, education and throughout the economy, Gigabit Wi-Fi promises to break new ground in delivering high quality video imaging. And it is just as important that Wi-Fi is becoming the off-load technology of choice – carrying an estimated 60% of all Internet traffic at the edge by 2016.

Wi-Fi is becoming the default way in which devices connect to the Internet and is now incorporated into everything from smart phones and tablets to cars and smart grid technologies.  Adding wireless capacity is a years-long effort.  If policymakers don’t act now, America faces a serious supply-demand imbalance in the near term. More spectrum must be made available for connectivity and innovation to continue supporting America’s job growth.

Cisco to Boost Network Security Platform with Acquisition of Cognitive Security

Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire Cognitive Security, a privately-held company headquartered in Prague, Czech Republic. Cognitive Security is focused on taking cutting edge research in the field of network security and applying artificial intelligence techniques to detect advanced cyber threats. Cognitive Security’s solution integrates a range of sophisticated software technologies to identify and analyze key IT security threats through advanced behavioral analysis of real-time data.

Mobility and cloud are drastically changing the IT security landscape, where traditional security approaches aren’t enough to protect customers against an evolving threat landscape. Today’s threats are more targeted, complex, and disruptive than ever before. Cognitive Security’s technology identifies and detects security anomalies, and when coupled with the network for mitigation, allows Cisco to uniquely address our customers’ security requirements.

Cisco’s security vision is to provide always on, integrated security to empower customers to realize the benefits of a mobile, cloud-enabled business. Cisco’s cloud-based global threat intelligence and Cognitive Security’s real-time behavioral analytics, will integrate to a common policy engine that controls distributed network enforcement in an intelligent network and mitigates advanced cyber threats.

Cognitive Security has a long-standing collaboration with the Czech Technical University (CTU), benefitting from CTU’s scientific contribution to the field of network security through a joint research program. Cisco and Cognitive Security plan to continue to expand on this relationship going forward.

Cognitive Security’s employees will join Cisco’s Security Technology Group under the leadership of Senior Vice President Chris Young. The acquisition of Cognitive Security is expected to close in the third quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.

An All-In-One Solution for Security and Productivity

It’s a router. No, it’s a firewall. No, it’s unified threat management. It’s … the new Cisco ISA500.

We hear a lot lately about how many mobile devices are connecting to the internet. And, with today’s BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend, more employees are wanting to use their preferred devices. They’re also wanting flexibility with where they work. We’re in a new work world, where mobility is the name of the game, and security is the game controller that determines who will have the advantage. Enter: The new Cisco ISA500.

As a recent infographic from research and industry analyst firm Techaisle shows, 61 percent of SMBs in North America allow BYOD; and 53 percent expect productivity improvement. But for those two things to happen together successfully, there needs to be strong security in place. This becomes especially important given that we’re seeing an uptick in the number of SMBs targeted for cyberattacks and the number of employees engaging in risky behavior when accessing the web.

So when Cisco looks at these challenges, we focus on three key things: safeguarding outside threats that can bring down the network, the ability for employees to securely access information, and a simple way to manage it all. The Cisco ISA500 helps customers do exactly that, by acting as a highly sophisticated router, firewall, and unified threat management in one device. Not only did it win “Outstanding Hardware Solution” at IT Nation, it’s also getting a lot of praise from our partners.

We sat down with David Lawrence, president of Smart Technology Enablers, who talked about his views of this offering. Take a look at what he had to say.

If you’d like to learn more about Cisco small business products, please visit And to learn more about responsive, proactive support options that Cisco Services offers to help keep your small business network running smoothly, click here.

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Challenges of the Evolving Home Network [INFOGRAPHIC]

SteveGBlogBy Steve Gorretta, Product Manager, NMTG

Do you know how fast the Internet connection is coming in and out of your house?  If you are like most broadband subscribers in the US, the answer is “no.”  You probably also share the sentiment (and pain!) that regardless of how much you are paying, your ISP isn’t delivering the promised broadband speed.

These are just examples of what you’ll learn in our Bandwidth Consumption and Broadband Reliability whitepaper, published last year but now brought to life in this creative Cisco infographic which provides a visual snapshot of the challenges subscribers face with respect to the evolving connected home network.

When we conducted this research we gained insights into three main areas:   Read More »

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A new wave of Cisco Cloud Connectors Further Accelerates Adoption of Cloud Services

In my previous blog I introduced the concept of Cisco Cloud Connectors, which help enhance cloud services for customers and partners, and listed the latest Cisco Cloud Connectors.

Today I am excited to share the next round of Cisco Cloud Connectors developed with third-parties and just announced at Cisco Live London! These Cisco Cloud Connectors expand further into a broad set of cloud-based applications and were developed by a growing list of third party partners. These new Cisco Cloud Connectors help address pain points in various domains such as storage, hospitality, security, VDI, identity, shipping and digital signage. Read More »

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