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The Importance of Broadband Connectivity in Developing Countries

Originally posted on the Huffington Post on 01/23/2013

Stephen Ondieki lives in Africa’s second-largest slum, Kibera in Kenya, where most residents earn less than US$1 a day. However, Stephen owns a computer repair shop that not only enables him to earn US$8 a day, but also to give back to his community by turning his shop into a hang-out spot for youth, whom he mentors and teaches about IT and networking. “They see me overcoming the same challenges they face and they’re motivated to try to make some changes themselves,” he says.

Stephen acquired his IT skills through training with the Cisco Networking Academy, a program that collaborates with organizations around the world to teach hundreds of thousands of students the skills needed to build, design, and maintain networks -- an increasingly crucial skill in an increasingly networked world.

Tae_BB_012313Stephen Ondieki is a graduate of the academy at Raila Education Centre in Kibera.

Stephen’s success and community outreach in Kibera would not have been possible without reliable and affordable access to a broadband connection. For Stephen and for many other individuals in developing countries around the world, broadband connectivity acts as a powerful catalyst as well as an anchor for economic and social advancement.

Read the complete post on Huffington Post Impact X.

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Broadband Ranking: Why it is Subjective

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By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

The place with the best broadband ecosystem is not Silicon Valley or Route 128, the mainstays of technology companies in the United States. But that’s not surprising, given the popularity of e-commerce and cloud computing – it’s Washington State, home of Microsoft and Amazon.

That’s the determination of the TechNet 2012 State Broadband Index, which ranked all 50 states on various facets of their ICT-related infrastructure.

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Mobile Broadband – the Blueprint for Progress in 2013

I’m very upbeat, regarding the current outlook for the Global Networked Economy in 2013. In particular, I see a tremendous opportunity to further explore the many benefits of readily-available wireless access to the internet.

Numerous events occurred during the course of 2012 that indicate we’re getting closer to a mobile broadband nirvana scenario – whereby network deployment has a positive impact on economic growth and potentially results in a higher living standard for those that take advantage of this valuable resource.

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Treating Patients Anywhere, Anytime with Telemedicine

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By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

Modern medicine has brought some amazing technological advances. But at the end of the day, the most powerful medical tool remains the old-fashioned one: expert clinicians with the knowledge to evaluate, monitor and care for patients.

The problem: how do you get medical expertise to all of the places it’s needed? One growing answer: Telemedicine.

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Wired or Wireless: Will the Distinction Matter?

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By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

How symbiotic is the relationship between wired and wireless technologies? Simple answer: very. Increasingly, the perceived gap between traditional cellular (3G, 4G), Wi-Fi, and wired technologies is narrowing.

There’s no question that the gap between wireless technologies is narrowing. Tiago Rodrigues, project director for the Wireless Business Alliance (WBA), sees venues such as sports stadiums, shopping malls, and even universities combining cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.

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