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Summertime 2011: Observations of a CTO

By Bob McIntyre, CTO, Cisco Service Provider Group

I was digging around my PowerPoints on the laptop recently, getting ready for our “Cisco Live!” event, and came across a set of predictions I’d made, five years ago.

A CTO, making predictions five years out? What could possibly go wrong, right? Well, I wouldn’t be bringing it up unless it was so off base as to be funny, — or close enough to “correct” to boast a little.

Turns out it was mostly the latter, so allow me to boast a little. -- Just a little. I promise.

Back then, in 2006, I said what will make service providers successful would be the delivery to consumers of their own personal HD video stream, on any device, wherever they were. A two-way stream. (This was the year before the iPhone and smart phones hit the market, and four years before “pads” did.)

I also surmised that triple and quad play (voice, video, data and wireless) bundles would continue to be the big thing; that operators needed to move drastically faster on what we now call “apps;” and that what we now call Wi-Fi mobile hot spots and 4th generation wireless (back then, we called it “fixed mobile convergence”) would be critical. Read More »

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The Big Apple: NYC Digital at the Core

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Municipalities around the world have been targeting broadband deployment, with varying degrees of success, as noted in our recent editorial, Intelligent Communities: A Smart Choice? The biggest U.S. city of all, New York, has committed extensive resources to make its broadband deployment a huge economic success, focusing on some traditional areas — government information, business support — and also some non-traditional areas.

Much of the program, dubbed NYC Digital, mirrors what many municipalities have already done. It includes deploying broadband access throughout the five boroughs to improve digital capabilities for industry, citizens, educational institutions, and city government itself. It also includes the traditional feature of giving citizens electronic access to government services — for example, permits, public records, and street cleaning schedules.

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How Broadband Boosts Individual Productivity

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

We’ve shared our perspective about how broadband boosts the potential productivity of continents, countries, and municipalities. But never about how broadband boosts the productivity of individuals. Nor, who gets the most benefit out of broadband — the employee or the employer? As traditional vacation time begins in the northern hemisphere, let’s explore the upside potential.

The most recent Cisco Connected World Technology report, released last year, included two interesting findings. First, despite the downturn in the economy, employees value flexibility of work location more than salary. Second, the borders between professional and private time continue to blur, thanks to mobile connectivity to the internet.

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Intelligent Communities: a Smart Choice?

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

We talk a lot about how broadband could boost a nation’s economic competitiveness, but it’s equally true that broadband can raise the future prospects of cities and towns as well.

The Intelligent Community Forum (ICF), a New York City-based group “dedicated to economic growth in the broadband community for communities large and small,” has been designating seven “intelligent communities of the year” since 2002. Winners since that year have been on every settled continent except Africa, and include names you might expect (Seoul, South Korea) and names you wouldn’t (Tallinn, Estonia).

Earlier in June, it named this year’s award winners. On the list were two previous winners — Eindhoven and Issy-les-Moulineux, France — and some surprises, including Chattanooga, Tennessee and Dublin, Ohio.

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Fixed Wireless Broadband: How and When

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Howard’s recent post on the potential for broadband to reshape rural areas raised some interesting issues, and generated a lot of discussion. For me though, the biggest question it raised was how service providers will actually make it work. How can they deliver broadband services to vast, sparsely populated regions in a way that makes sense economically?

Of course, the industry is already answering this question. One promising possibility: fixed wireless broadband.

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