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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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Can Broadband Reshape Rural Development?

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

If you are a student of history and commerce, you recognize a clear pattern to the development of cities. In the beginning, most of them were founded on rivers — think Paris and the Seine, London and the Thames, New York and the Hudson.

Then railroads took over from rivers as a catalyst for development. In the United States, Chicago and Denver owe their existence to the proximity of tracks, rather than proximity to water. Thus began the transition from natural to industrial.

Today we are in the middle of the transition from the industrial to the digital, based on the rapid deployment of broadband technology. What will be the first major city based on digital technology? Is it Silicon Valley, in California? Is it Bombay? Is it Shanghai?

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Eastern Europe: the Next Broadband Boom?

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

If your image of Eastern Europe leans toward Yugos and Soviet farm collectives, it’s sadly outdated. It’s entirely possible that, with new government programs stimulating Internet connectivity and new EU regulations benefiting less-developed members, Eastern Europe may be on the verge of its own broadband boom.

Eastern Europe already has a strong foundation from a broadband standpoint. When Jet-Stream, a Dutch content-delivery consulting firm, posted the results of Speedtest.net tests on broadband speeds last year, the results were more than a little surprising.

Download speeds in Latvia 18.86 Mbps, exceeded that of Japan, at 17.52 Mbps. Of the top 24 countries, half were in Eastern Europe (the other half was split among Scandinavia, Europe, and Asia). Of those 12, nine have joined the EU.

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Connected Life: Exploring User Adoption Trends

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

How much information can you get from a number? Turns out, quite a bit.

At least, that’s the theory behind the Cisco Connected Life User Experience (CLUE). The index, designed by Cisco’s SP Marketing team, shows you trends in the adoption of various advanced services in different parts of the world, just by glancing at a number.

If you’ve never explored CLUE, check it out. It’s an impressive instrument that manages to convey a vast amount of information in a succinct package. I spoke with Shruti Jain and Thomas Barnett, who developed the index for Cisco’s Service Provider Marketing team, about how people are using it.

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Brains vs. Brawn?

After years of working with financial markets firms around the globe I believe we are heading towards an environment where “High-intelligence trading” will likely replace “High-frequency trading”.  Why, because low-latency is becoming table stakes in the search for competitive differentiation. A firm’s business advantage is going to be in the ability to operate on a global scale and process more complex information sets.  So in today’s markets, it’s not just speed — but span of awareness that counts -- in a search for Alpha. How do firms evolve to  “high-intelligence trading” infrastructure ?   Read More »

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