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A Plea for Investment, Not Spending

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

As economic confusion roils the world, it’s disconcerting that no one seems to know which path to take to solve the problem.

Governments in economic turmoil, such as those in Greece and Italy, consider austerity. Other governments, such as the United States, consider even more spending.

I would argue for a different mindset, one that favors the concept of investing instead of spending. Certainly government must address present concerns, but it’s even more important that it lays the foundation to help its citizens prepare for and thrive in the future. (Would World War II have lasted as long, if the United States had been less isolationist during the preceding years?)

Rather than budgeting money for jobs, I’d prefer to see government budget money for infrastructure that will establish a foundation for the ongoing creation of new jobs.

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The Network Week in Review and Look Ahead: October 17-21

It was another busy week here at Cisco! Check out the top news stories of the week.

1.) The Broadband Debate

This new feature addresses the issue of broadband as a basic right. Country by country issues vary, but how can access be achieved? Do you think countries should make broadband access a basic right?

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Global Broadband: Success through Collaboration

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Late in September, the International Telecommunications Union, the United Nations agency responsible for information and communication technologies (ICT), wrapped up its 11th Global Symposium for Regulators in Armenia City, Colombia. The meeting is a periodic forum designed to help national regulatory authorities exchange information about deploying broadband technology within their own countries and internationally.

The topics discussed among the more than 500 participants went beyond broadband services, however, touching upon other regulatory issues such as mobile payments and e-waste. Many of the presenters’ conclusions correlate to the conclusions reached in other Connected Life Exchange posts — that is, that for international broadband deployment to succeed, there needs to be a concerted effort on multiple fronts, including governments, service providers, vendors, and local business leaders.

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Cisco’s “Pole Position” Driving Service Provider Video Infrastructure Investment

If you read the trade press, service provider video business models are under assault.  IPTV operators are challenged by the high cost of video services, while traditional pay-TV operators are seeing growing OTT traffic threatening their cost and revenue structures.  Amidst all this, ACG Research recently reported that the service provider video infrastructure market grew 4.5% sequentially in Q2 2011, to $3.5 billion.  According to ACG, Cisco grew its market leadership position in the overall service provider video infrastructure market to 41.9%, added three share points in the CMTS market to 65.8%, and gained a commanding 34.6% share in the IPTV set top box market.

What’s contributing to this growth? Two factors: an evolving understanding of video, and an appreciation of the shifting composition of network traffic. Read More »

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Can Broadband Access Fuel Job Creation?

The message from leaders across rural America is clear — they want broadband access to the internet, and they’re hoping that by raising the awareness of their common cause they’ll see some near-term progress towards that goal (helping to fuel new job creation).

Howard’s prior editorial entitled “Can Broadband Reshape Rural Development” seemed to trigger some spirited commentary. But that’s not surprising, when you consider how well organized and vocal the rural stakeholder groups have been in the past.

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