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SAN JOSE, CA -- First, Happy New Year!!! Second, as mentioned in this blog in November, Senator John McCain and Cisco CEO John Chambers chatted with San Jose Mercury News editor Stephen Wright at the Silcon Valley Leadership Group’s annual public policy luncheon.Today, the Mercury News ran an edited transcript of that conversation.Among the quotes:Wright: …President Bush outlined several initiatives for innovation and competitiveness in his State of the Union. The Democrats have developed a plan to also address many of these same issues, but nothing got done. So I’d like to ask each of you to name the No. 1 competitiveness issue that you think Congress should tackle in 2007.Chambers: If I were to ask for one thing, it would be broadband. Our global competitors are breaking away from us. It enables new forms of health care. It enables new forms of innovation. It allows us to balance our personal lives with our business lives, with our families, and we are not keeping up as a country.Wright: What can we do to get affordable broadband throughout the country?Chambers: It starts with an agreement to make it a top agenda item for our country. We need to create a reasonable amount of competitiveness, and then holding those people accountable for it, and allow a reasonable return on it. I don’t think this is rocket science.McCain: He’s right. Broadband access needs to be a top priority.

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