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Building Bridges Across Time and Distance

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

We’ve lived through a unique moment in human history. We’re likely the last generation that will remember a time before mobile phones or personal computers — before we could communicate with anyone, acquire virtually any piece of information, in seconds.

Having seen this sea change firsthand, we should have a sense of how profoundly new communication technologies can change society. But this isn’t the first time technology advances have reshaped human interactions. Take the completion of the first transatlantic undersea cable in 1858.

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20 Billion Bits Under The Sea

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

In Jules Verne’s 1869 novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Captain Nemo’s Nautilus submarine cruises past the first transatlantic telegraph cable. The book was published only three years after the first successful attempt to lay the undersea cable and was as wondrous at the time as Verne’s story. It connected New York and London and transmitted eight words per minute.

Businessman Cyrus Field first attempted to connect the two continents in 1858. He made five more attempts before he was successful, though it almost bankrupted him in the process. As historian Gillian Cookson said in a PBS documentary, “It was really a tool of commerce and a tool of news agencies. But because information could be passed so quickly and news could travel between the continents, [it was] revolutionary.”

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The Anthology of Human Networks

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

My name is Steven Shepard, and I’m a writer, speaker, and industry analyst for the telecom, IT and media industries. The nature of my work is such that I visit about 70 countries every year, from wealthy First World countries with the most advanced telecom networks available to Third World countries that in many cases are building networks for the first time.

My plan is to take you on a journey through time and a voyage through space, showing you the best — and the worst — that telecom has to offer. For now, let’s go on a retrospective. Who would have thought that we would reach this point in our technological development?

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We’re More Powerful Together, Than Apart

We launched our Connected Life Exchange blog yesterday that’s focused on sharing interesting stories. I’ve anticipated this day for three years. I’m eager to work on this project, along with a talented group of creative people.

I remember the very first time that I saw the original Cisco “Human Network” television commercial. Why? It marked the beginning of a journey that ultimately brought me here — as a member of the Cisco family.

On Monday, April 30, 2007. I was a self-employed, independent industry analyst and marketing consultant. I needed a topic to write about that day, for my own blog.

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Introducing the Connected Life Exchange

Hello, my name is David. I want to tell you a story. It’s a story about the people who imagined that there might be a way to enable humans to communicate across time and space. It’s about their passion and determination to pursue that dream, to boldly explore all the possibilities.

It’s also about a series of events that led us to the invention of new technologies, to the development of new systems and the ongoing investment in essential network infrastructure that enabled a bounty of telecommunication innovations that would ultimately benefit all humanity.

This story began to unfold more than 150 years ago. Since then, there’s been rapid progress. In fact, people are now accessing many types of multimedia content on a multitude of connected devices. The “connected life” reflects our desire to have many  integrated services and experiences that are available anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Today we’re launching a new project.

Welcome to the Connected Life Exchange – an evolving narrative about how people connect, communicate, and collaborate.

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