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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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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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Stimulating Economic Growth with Broadband

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

One of the toughest aspects of promoting new technology deployment and usage is finding meaningful facts to support its potential value to local business community stakeholders. While there are readily available estimates and forecasts, detailed analysis and actual payback examples are somewhat rare.

That’s especially true with new technologies such as broadband that require the concerted efforts of multiple parties — which can include government agencies, service providers, equipment manufacturers, and end-users — in order to deliver quantifiable results.

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Economic Incentive for Telecom Infrastructure Investment

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

In his recent State of the Union address, President Obama identified government investment in infrastructure as a key antidote to the U.S. economic doldrums. This is not a new concept. During the Great Depression, the Works Progress Administration spent $7 billion over a three year period to construct buildings, roads, parks, and bridges, bringing short-term jobs and long-term competitive advantage.

Nor is it strictly a U.S. strategy. During the recent downturn, multiple countries have started taking the same tack, but instead of dams and highways, they’re funding telecommunications network infrastructure.

According to a 2009 speech by Taylor Reynolds, an economist with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the numbers are impressive for countries both large and small:

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A Partner Holiday Wish List…

Great Products, Simplified Pricing and Easy Trade-Ins

Well Partners, we are making your holiday wishes come true. Cisco has made it easier than ever for customers to upgrade their networks in 2011 with compelling program and offers. Take advantage of these and watch your business grow.

Simplified Pricing on Major Switching Families
The Fast Track 2 program makes it easier for partners to access and sell high volume Cisco technology like the Catalyst 2K, 3K and Small Business 300 series switches. Fast Track 2 provides our partners aggressive upfront prices, allowing faster time to quote and sell, while also giving customers compelling “reasons to buy” Cisco technology. Read More »

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