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Statement of Jeff Campbell on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s E-Rate Announcement

“Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler in his speech today made it clear that transforming the nation’s E-Rate program is one of his biggest priorities.  That is welcome news.

The E-Rate program has done an incredible job of connecting 100,000 schools and libraries to the internet since its inception.  But technology has changed the way teachers teach and students learn, and the program must keep up with the times.

Chairman Wheeler understands that the next challenge is bringing broadband connectivity to a full classroom of students and teachers all at once.  When this happens, it creates incredible opportunities to use video and cutting edge applications as part of the everyday learning process, which  has been shown to lead to significant improvements in educational outcomes.

As part of our enduring commitment to improving K-12 education, Cisco has put forward a number of recommendations for how to modernize and reform E-Rate.  We stand ready to work with the Chairman, the Commissioners, the FCC staff, and members of Congress to ensure that the program continues to be central to the Federal Government’s effort to improve education in every school in America.

Statement by Mary Brown on the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Decision on Vehicle-to-Vehicle Technology

Today’s decision by the US Department of Transportation to move forward with vehicle-to-vehicle safety technology for cars and light trucks is welcome news.

Not only does this mark the first use of radio technology that will make our driving experience safer, but it is also the first use of the Intelligent Transportation Service spectrum at 5.9 GHz that was set aside for these purposes nearly 15 years ago.

Just as important, this is a victory for IEEE 802.11 technology.  ITS radios utilize this (802.11) technology, creating a real opportunity for Wi-Fi sharing in the 5.9 GHz band, since the two technologies were born from the same standard.

The FCC is continuing to conduct its analysis on whether sharing is technologically feasible.  Cisco believes, given Wi-Fi’s ability to listen, detect, and avoid, that the band can be robustly utilized by ITS and Wi-Fi, while ensuring safety of drivers and passengers.

Cisco looks forward to working with the auto industry on the implementation of the next chapter in connected vehicles.

“Has Hybrid Cloud Arrived? Part 2: Cisco InterCloud makes hybrid cloud real !

In my last blog, “Has Hybrid Cloud Arrived? Part 1: And How Will it Shape the Role of IT Going Forward?” we looked at the business drivers of a hybrid cloud and previewed the key requirements. In this blog, we will look at Cisco InterCloud – a hybrid cloud solution, we announced this week at Cisco Live! Milan, to address the hybrid cloud needs for enterprise and service provider customers.

Business leaders today are heavily growth-oriented and are looking at new ways of deploying applications to obtain greater agility. That is where we see hybrid cloud becoming mainstream as it frees businesses to run applications on-demand and where it’s most cost-effective. Cisco InterCloud was announced to address this opportunity and facilitate optimal hybrid cloud deployments.

Hybrid Cloud

Cisco InterCloud comes with unique capabilities that enable enterprises to connect their private cloud to heterogeneous public clouds. It creates the notion of a single scalable hybrid cloud for all physical, virtual and cloud workloads -- an infinite datacenter where the public cloud is treated as a virtual extension of the data center. Cisco InterCloud is designed with these tenets:

Open: Customers are excited about Cisco InterCloud, as it is an open solution that gives customers the freedom to choose hypervisor on private cloud and select their public cloud from a rich ecosystem of cloud providers. Service providers like InterCloud as it is open API based, integrates with multiple cloud platforms, e.g., CloudStack, vCloud, and OpenStack and enables them to rapidly offer a hybrid cloud solution. It reduces the effort to onboard enterprise customers. Cisco InterCloud thus provides a multi-cloud, multi-hypervisor cloud experience.

Secure: Another key factor in hybrid cloud adoption is the need to address the security and compliance concerns of public cloud deployment. Cisco InterCloud provides end-to-end secure connectivity by encrypting traffic between the enterprise private cloud and the service provider cloud. It also ensures workload security by encrypting all data-in-motion within shared multi-tenant public cloud. Additionally, customers can also deploy network services such as zone based virtual firewall and edge firewall for further workload security within public cloud.

Flexible: Customers demand bi-directional workload portability across private and public clouds. With Cisco InterCloud, customers not only can provision workloads from a self-service portal, but also with a click, migrate workloads to the public cloud and back. All of this activity happens behind the scenes as InterCloud converts workloads to the right VM format, such as VMware VMDK to AWS AMI, or to CloudStack format for providers such as BT. It makes workload portability easier as applications don’t need to be re-architected as IP addresses are retained upon migration and enterprise VLANs are extended into the cloud.

I believe that lines of business and developers are leading the journey to hybrid cloud adoption. IT has realized that it needs to shift away from its role as gatekeeper to instead being a partner to Lines of Business but IT faces certain challenges in doing so. IT has to deal with the overhead of integrating with each cloud provider and find ways to do in a secure manner. Cisco InterCloud enables IT to act as a cloud broker on behalf of lines of business. Cisco InterCloud provides unified hybrid cloud management through a built-in IT Admin portal and an extensible northbound API layer. It also allows IT to enforce consistent network security, L4-7 services and workload policies throughout the hybrid cloud.

This week’s Cisco InterCloud announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to customers. We envision a future where customers have an array of cloud options and can pick the ‘best fit’ based on workload needs, performance, cost, and location requirements. We are going into beta next quarter and have announced general availability soon afterwards. As 2014 dawns, we see a shift towards mainstream hybrid cloud adoption — hybrid cloud is finally here for real.

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Statement of Jennifer Sanford on the Introduction of Trade Promotion Authority Legislation

In 2002, there was a Battle Royale on trade in Washington.  I had the privilege of working with  Members of Congress and their staffs on both sides of the political aisle talking about the importance of ensuring that the United States remains a leader in international trade negotiations.   We in the tech sector made the case how trade helps boost the competitiveness of U.S. technology companies, and how proliferation of the Internet brings people all over the world closer together.  What was true then is even more the case today.

So I’m pleased that the conversation with Congress  about trade has begun once again, thanks to the introduction of Trade Promotion Authority legislation in both the Senate and the House. Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Max Baucus, Ranking Member Orrin Hatch and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee David Camp are all to be commended for their leadership in getting bipartisan, bicameral legislation introduced.  Now the hard work really begins.

TPA empowers Congress by outlining trade negotiating objectives that the President must pursue in the course of trade negotiations. It also ensures that the Executive Branch actively and fully consults Congress before, during and after the course of a trade negotiation. Once a trade deal is concluded, the President then works with Congress to introduce implementing legislation, so Congress has the final say whether the U.S. is a party to any trade pact.

This is an exciting time in the world of international trade, especially in the tech sector. The United States is actively involved in negotiating the Transpacific Partnership with a dozen trading partners in the Asia-Pacific, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union and the Trade in Services Agreement with nearly 20 countries. All of the negotiations are designed to create new market opportunities and greater certainty for U.S.-based technology companies competing on the international stage.

Today’s action by Chairman Baucus, Ranking Member Hatch and Chairman Camp is welcome.  It brings us closer to assuring U.S. leadership in international markets. As part of the Trade Benefits America coalition, we are honored to work with the Congress and the Obama Administration to see that TPA is passed as soon as possible.

4 Things That Can Get Done in Washington in 2014

When folks ask me what policy actions are going to take place in 2014, an election year, my knee jerk reaction is to say, “not much.”

But when I spend a moment to think about it, there is a substantial agenda of things that can be accomplished next year from a tech industry perspective.   Here’s the short list:

Patent reform – there’s real momentum behind patent reform.  The 325-90 vote in the U.S. House of Representatives shows that support for patent reform is strong and bipartisan.  There will be a hearing in the Senate on December 17, and the Senate Judiciary Committee will hopefully take up the bill soon in the New Year.  This legislation is critically important to help level the playing field against patent assertion entities, which we know as patent trolls. It helps dry up the financial incentives that allow patent trolls to thrive.

E-rate modernization and reform – The FCC has on its docket E-rate modernization.  This program has connected 100,000 schools and libraries to the Internet since its inception in 1996.  Now the program needs to be updated to meet the modern needs of schools and libraries.   Cisco has made 5 major recommendations for reform in our white paper, “High Speed Broadband in Every Classroom: The Promise of a Modernized E-Rate Program.”  We will continue to work with the FCC to get E-rate reform over the finish line in 2014.

Adding more mobile spectrum – Also in front of the FCC is an effort to create more spectrum for WiFi.  There is a looming spectrum crunch in this country, and by 2017, there will be 67 times more mobile internet traffic than in 2007.  That’s like adding double the cars on the beltway each year for the next five years.  We need an all-of-the-above policy on spectrum, and a critical component is more spectrum for wifi in the 5 GHz band as part of a larger effort to add more mobile spectrum.

Trade -  The U.S. has a robust trade agenda in front of it in  2014, and we’re hopeful that there will be significant progress in more areas.  The U.S. made substantial progress in Bali last week.  Now the hard work to get agreements finalized, approved, and ratified must be done.  Trade is critical to helping U.S. companies grow and thrive in overseas markets.

That’s four major issues there.  As my grandmother would say, that’s not chopped liver.

So even in an election year, there’s a considerable amount of work that can and should be done.