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Susan Kennedy is a Californian First

I was pleased to hear about Governor Schwarzenegger’s appointment of Susan Kennedy as his new chief of staff. I have known Susan for several years and know that her number one affiliation is as a Californian. As a Republican in a”blue” state I am always pulling for my team when it comes to appointments and recognition, but Kennedy is a great person for this job right now. She has worked tirelessly for Californians her whole career. She knows how government works. In her recent tenure as a PUC commissioner she has been a great advocate for market-based solutions, including letting Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and broadband grow without onerous regulations. Her common-sense approach to solving problems will serve the state of California well. Additionally (and important to Cisco), she knows the value of the technology industry to the economy in California. The Governor seems to be working to remove the D’s and the R’s next to people’s names in Sacramento and wants a C (Californian) next to all names. Susan will be a great help in building that vision.Pat Clarey is also a friend and I know her to be a great manager and a great advocate for California. Her talent and drive will be missed in the horseshoe, but she will remain a great asset to our state.Pat, good luck. Susan, we look forward to working with you.

New Cisco High Tech Public Policy Blog

Cisco’s Government Affairs’ High Tech Public Policy Blog was Cisco’s very first blog wayyyyyy back in February of ought five. We have now moved to a new publishing platform, Movable Type, so our URL and RSS feeds are now changed. If you would like to hear from us as we post our thoughts and opinions on high tech public policy, please change your feeder and bookmark to:New URL: RSS URL: you.

6:41 AM – San Francisco Airport

So, I’m waiting on my plane to DC. I’m online, using T-Mobile. I’ve checked e-mail. Read the papers…online, of course. And, I have some work to do that I could probably, at least, start before I get on the plane…however, my battery says it has 45 minutes remaining on it. When will a battery be invented where I don’t have to worry about losing a charge ALL DAY??!! Can’t they transplant the cell phone battery longevity into a laptop? When will this happen? Productivity is dropping. The world’s competitiveness is in peril. At least my IPod’s battery lasts from coast-to-coast. Priorities.

Kudos to California PUC Commissioner Kennedy

California’s deregulation energizer bunny came to Silicon Valley this week at a dinner hosted by the Pacific Research Council. Commissioner Susan Kennedy wowed an audience of 40 executives and academics (one audience member was noted tech futurist George Gilder) in the valley with her progressive, blow ’em up discussion on the future of convergence and the need to stay out of the way when it comes to innovation and IP.

She commented that billion dollar decisions are made with little to no oversight from many stakeholders. Kennedy also extoled the need for more education at the California Public Utilities Commission about new technologies such as VoIP, wireless and broadband. She also praised Cisco and Silicon Valley CEOs for weighing in on the promise of VoIP in supporting the withdrawal of the CA petition at the FCC to retain state rights to regulate. Kudos to Kennedy for leading the charge for promoting innovation in the state!

This Just In: Global Competitiveness Figures Released

The World Economic Forum ( today released their survey of competitive nations in the world. First place was? Anyone want to guess? For the second straight year: Finland. The U.S. came in second. The top 10 was rounded out by: Sweden, Denmark, Taiwan, Singapore, Iceland, Switzerland, Norway and Australia. To read the criteria for rankings, please go to the WEF site. China and India are near the middle of the pack of the 100 ranked nations.

These rankings made me think a bit. What do Nordic nations have (in general) that is lacking in the rest of the world? I haven't mapped the WEF competitive list to the world's top broadband nations, but I bet they are pretty darn close. Is broadband the be-all, end-all of a competitive nation? Absolutely not, but broadband does make one more productive, which leads to being more competitive. Those utilizing broadband are also generally better educated (i.e. they have a good education system). When broadband is utilized there is more online spending involved, which, in turn, leads to more efficiencies in the supply chain and then, ultimately, of course, makes everybody better looking, richer and live longer. (Okay, maybe not those last three things.)

Speaking of broadband, I also just heard today that 61% US internet users now utilize broadband…that dial-up figure is dropping sharply. I have also heard that the uptake of the internet in general is slowing in the US, but I look at that as an opportunity to get broadband speeds up the REAL broadband definitions, not that of the FCC, which is a shockingly low measurement of 200kbps upstream and down. Want to check that fact? I think we all agree with the always-on component of broadband, but the high-speed part seems to be a moving target. What SHOULD be the definition of broadband, speed-wise? Thoughts?