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BIG is bigger than us!

In late 2010, when Cisco began thinking about how best to respond to the Prime Minister’s call for corporate involvement in East London Tech City initiative, we quickly saw a great opportunity for us to contribute to a wider UK economic and social development agenda.

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Probing Deeper into Minority Broadband Usage

Howard Baldwin - Photograph

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

John Horrigan spends a lot of time worrying about the digital divide – the chasm that divides certain demographic sectors when it comes to accessing information, transacting business, and interacting with government.

I wrote about this last year in Broadband: Exploring The Demographic Patterns, but Horrigan has dug a little deeper, both in his former position with Pew Internet Research and his current position as vice-president and director of the Media and Technology Institute at Washington, D.C.’s Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

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Making Lives Easier, One Drop at a Time

Jason Kohn

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

We often think of technology in terms of flashy gadgets and slick new applications. But the technology with the biggest impact is often more prosaic. It’s about using straightforward tools to solve basic problems that make people’s lives better.

One of the best examples I’ve seen of this recently is NextDrop, out of Hubli in the state of Karnataka, India. NextDrop is attacking a problem that affects millions of people in India and in much of the developing world: unpredictable and unreliable water supply.

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Three Years Post-Quake, Emergency Channels Still Vital Resource

Neelley Hicks, UMCBy Neelley Hicks, Guest Columnist

Near the epicenter of the 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti, less than three months after it occurred, Clif Guy of Church of the Resurrection (COR) encountered a unique challenge: how to build a communications infrastructure so what was happening on the ground could be conveyed to incoming relief teams and others who had invested themselves in the Petit Goave community.

As director of IT at COR, Guy was used to technical challenges – but not of this scale. Spotty electricity and lack of Internet access in an area that had just suffered its worst natural disaster presented issues like never before. (Read how Clif used Google Earth to engineer a network to connect Haiti’s most needed areas.) Read More »

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Common Traits of Intelligent Community Superstars

Howard Baldwin - Photograph

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Lou Zacharilla, co-founder of the Intelligent Community Forum, has a foolproof way of identifying which cities are most likely to be successful deploying broadband networks: business cards.

The ones who do well at broadband, he says, are the ones whose municipal employees collaborate across departmental boundaries, and with elected officials.

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