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Economic Catalyst: Telecom Right-of-Way Access

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

I have always loved trains. Never knew why, but I think I just discovered the reason. They’re part of the industry I work in – or at least played a founding role here in the United States. And, they gave us much of the terminology that infuses our telecom vocabulary: switches routers, hubs, trunks, lines, etc.

But one railroad in particular played a fundamental role in the development of the industry and, more importantly, in the development of a truly competitive U.S. telecommunications industry.

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2012 Predictions: These I Like

January 23, 2012 at 9:13 am PST

It took me awhile to go through all the random Top 10 of 2011 lists for various topics, so now I’m ready to look ahead to 2012’s preponderance of pundit predictions. Or maybe I’m just fashionably late. I’ve tripped over a few reports here and there – some quite possibly developed by caffeinated squirrels on a treadmill.

Not me, but she looks like she's predicting something...

On the technology front, I found one more interesting than others. Instead of putting a small group of experts in a room and not letting them out until they agree on a list, Baseline Magazine annually surveys business and technology managers at companies with 100+ employees to ask about their organizations’ investments, plans, and strategies. Across several hundred respondents, patterns evolve.

Whoever these people are, coming from the desk I use, I like the way they (and their companies) think. Following – their predictions and my two cents (maybe three or four).

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The Extraordinary Communications Satellite

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

Science, science fiction…which is it?

In October 1945, science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke published a paper in Wireless World entitled, “Extra-Terrestrial-Relays: Can Rocket Stations Give World-Wide Radio Coverage?” In his paper, Clarke proposed the concept of a platform orbiting above the Earth that would serve as a relay facility for radio signals sent to it that could then be retransmitted back to Earth with far greater coverage (‘footprint’) than was achievable through the terrestrial transmission techniques of the time. He describes his platform in the article:

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The Most Complex Machine Ever Built

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

If you read my prior story on this topic, and appreciate my love of conversations with cab drivers, then you’ll understand this cryptic note:

hi Steve, how are u, its been long time,

this is cab driver Masud from Vancouver, I drop at the airport, we discus many issue, I hope u remember me.

Any way if u have any thing to shear on new thinks, please don’t hegited.

That message is why I travel, and why I work in this field.

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Putting Your Tablet to Work with AT&T and the Cisco Cius

Cisco Cius2011 is shaping up to be the year of the tablet. As seen by overwhelming consumer demand, the trend that started in 2010 continues to rapidly gain momentum.  More and more people see value in the advanced video and collaboration capabilities combined with the mobility that tablets offer.

Within the enterprise, mobile tablets are positioned to be a critical part of a company’s suite of collaboration and communications tools.  Organizations can leverage the unified communications and collaboration capabilities of the tablet to enhance productivity for an increasingly mobile workforce.  Cisco saw the power of this tool and responded with the release of the first mobile tablet made specifically for businesses, the Cisco Cius™.

Today, May 11, AT&T announced plans to offer the Cisco Cius to its business customers, and Cisco expects the Cius to be available for AT&T’s HSPA+ network in the fall of 2011. The purpose-built Cius delivers virtual desktop integration with anywhere, anytime access to the full range of Cisco collaboration and communication applications, including full interoperability with Cisco TelePresence®. The Cius will move easily between wired connectivity to Wi-Fi and mobile broadband networks, including AT&T’s HSPA+ network.

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