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More than Talk at Davos: A Deep Dive by the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Infrastructure & Urban Development

In recognizing the need for new models for urban development, the World Economic Forum—which brings the world to Davos every January—has mobilized a multi-stakeholder team to find alternatives. Nic Villa, global director in the Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group Public Sector practice, was recently named to this year’s Global Agenda Council for Infrastructure & Urban Development (GAC), a team of 15 experts and industry leaders drawn from around the world. This group is dedicated to exploring and identifying transformational models for infrastructure and urban development (I participated as a member in last year’s GAC).

By offering the case study of Shenzhen, Cisco IBSG contributed an outstanding example to the new “Urban Anthologies: Learning from our Cities” a user-friendly toolkit developed by the GAC to empower mayors, urban leaders, and private sector decision makers who are seeking to transform cities and communities. The tool highlights not only the physical outcomes of the projects but, most important, the catalytic and enabling factors that make these transformations possible (see chart below).

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Private or Public Sector: Who Should Deploy Broadband?

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Google’s experiment in laying broadband fiber in Kansas City, Missouri revives the old question of who should deploy broadband technology: the public sector, the private sector, or an entity based on a public utility model?

Municipally deployed broadband (like its previous sibling, municipal Wi-Fi) continues to be somewhat problematic. A recent audit for the Utah Telecommunications Open Infrastructure Agency, the optimistically named UTOPIA in the Salt Lake City suburbs, shows that the consortium is still waiting for broadband to catch on in order to pay back its bonds.

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The Enterprise’s Inclination to Private Cloud

By Uwe Lambrette, Director of Service Provider Solutions, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG)

Cisco IBSG’s recent interviews with about 45 enterprise CIOs and architects clearly revealed that enterprises have a preference for private cloud. They want to maintain control over their IT, especially where the architecture is new and skills need to be built. In addition, they are not comfortable with accepting externally provided cloud solutions (although there are certainly exceptions).

At the same time, the survey indicated that once enterprises have gained private-cloud experience, they are more willing to allocate this architecture to an external provider.

This is reminiscent of the classic outsourcing
 cycle, where corporate functions are moved externally once they have become a commodity.

This trend has Read More »

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Broadband Infrastructure: Should Rural Investment Be a Priority?

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

Sometimes those promoting extensive infrastructure projects — broadband or otherwise — exhibit a Field of Dreams mentality: “If you build it, they will come.” My own state of California is currently wrestling with such a project, a $68 billion high-speed rail line that opponents claim is too expensive and will never pay for itself. My attitude: come the day we have to evacuate San Francisco or Los Angeles after a major earthquake, people are going to be grateful it was built.

As we recently discussed in Broadband Backlash: Where It Comes From and How to Fix It, broadband deployments also have their detractors. Currently, one of the biggest areas of contention swirls around the value of rural broadband. There are really two sides of the story.

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London 2012: the Olympic Network (part three)

As you plan and prepare for the delivery of a high-profile major project, would your peers describe you as being “cool, calm and collected?” According to one source, the definition of that expression is to become “relaxed and ready for anything; able to endure any difficulty.”

Apparently, this is also one of the traits that may help to explain what it really means to be British. When I first settled in the United States — now more than thirty years ago — my American associates would compliment me for being very polite and respectful to guests. In other words, being a gentleman. Truly, I’ve never given that aspect of my character much thought, until today.

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