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Beyond Broadband, Beyond Borders

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

If you look at a digest of broadband news — as I frequently do in search of story ideas — it’s clear that broadband adoption is taking off. Google search a country name and “broadband,” and you’re more than likely to get an article proclaiming that its government, grasping the economic value of high-speed connectivity, is funding, or considering funding deployment to serve both its urban and rural citizens.

With more countries making that commitment, the world is truly creating what Cisco calls the borderless network.

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Living the Connected Life – in Tasmania, Australia

By Lionel Walters, Guest Columnist

I grew up in suburban Sydney and enjoyed many of the benefits and conveniences of life in a large and established community. I was close to family and friends, had easy access to basic services such as education and health care, and had an almost unlimited selection of entertainment and retail options. In those blissful days of my youth, I had everything I needed within a distance of a few short kilometers.

My situation changed somewhat when I started my career. For the first time I found myself joining thousands of others in a daily commute to inner Sydney. I’m sure I was not alone in feeling that the two hours of travel each day could be better spent in other pursuits, but like so many before me, I took it in stride because I believed it was the price to pay if I wanted to realize the Australian Dream.

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Broadband: Exploring the Demographic Patterns

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Broadband wireless technology has no doubt had an impact on enterprise productivity — the ability for companies to provide anytime, anywhere access to both data and colleagues means faster response time and the competitive advantage that brings.

But we sometimes focus more on the corporate impact than the impact it has on personal lives as well — and not just the ability of teenagers to text or celebrities to tweet.

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Government and Industry Leaders Want Broadband Everywhere

The latest update of the Visual Networking Index (VNI) forecast of Internet protocol (IP) data traffic from 2011 to 2016 is just astonishing. At the top level, global IP traffic growth is exploding at a CAGR of nearly 30% with much regional variation across the world, and different technologies and applications gaining share.

To explore the implications of the VNI forecasts for countries, consumers and corporations, I hosted a panel of experts with a wide range of policy, technical and industry experience. Joining the discussion were:

Diego Molano Vega: Colombia’s Minister of Information Technology and Communications

Daniel Weitzner: Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Internet Policy, Office of Science and Technology Policy at The White House

Kathleen Abernathy: Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President of Frontier Communications; and former Commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission

Kevin McElearney: Senior Vice President of Network Engineering at Comcast

The panel discussed a wide range of issues, with three key take-aways:

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Internet Traffic Continues to Explode, No End in Sight

“In 2016, over 1.3 Zettabytes of data will travel across Internet protocol (IP) networks. That’s over 10 times the traffic generated in 2008 and more than all the IP traffic that traversed global networks from 1984 to 2012 combined (1.2 Zettabytes).”

This estimate is from the latest Visual Networking Index (VNI) released today by Cisco which forecasts IP network traffic patterns from 2011 to 2016. The annual VNI rolling five year forecast has become a trusted industry barometer for how rapidly the use of global IP networks is expanding.

So what’s driving the explosive data growth?

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