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The Network Effect

To celebrate our first anniversary of the CLE blog we produced a web documentary series on the impact of the telecom network, hosted by Dr. Steven Shepard.  We’ll share stories about the network’s pioneers, the impact it has today in growing the economy especially in developing regions, and possibilities it holds for the future.

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The Telecom Inventor Island Mystery

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

What a wonderful thing maps are. As a child I would pore over them, sometimes for hours, looking for the silliest names, the most intriguing locations, the most exciting geographies. I was particularly taken by maps of the Canadian Shield, a place so vast and forbidding that even today large swaths of it remain unexplored.

This is the home of the world’s largest remaining arboreal forest — it is huge. I also like the fact that on the maps of northern Canada, even today, roads meander northward from the reasonably populated cities near the US border, and then, inextricably, end. As a kid I longed to go there, to see what lay beyond the end of the road. I still do.

I still take aimless ambles through maps today when I have time. The nature of my work is such that I have had the pleasure of driving to the end of some of those roads, and in some cases, creating roads of my own. I have visited places with exotic names like Timboctou (we call it Timbuktu), Ouagadougou, and Zanzibar. The joy of map-gazing, however, still burns hot for me.

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Building Bridges Across Time and Distance

By Jason Kohn, Contributing Columnist

We’ve lived through a unique moment in human history. We’re likely the last generation that will remember a time before mobile phones or personal computers — before we could communicate with anyone, acquire virtually any piece of information, in seconds.

Having seen this sea change firsthand, we should have a sense of how profoundly new communication technologies can change society. But this isn’t the first time technology advances have reshaped human interactions. Take the completion of the first transatlantic undersea cable in 1858.

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The Anthology of Human Networks

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

My name is Steven Shepard, and I’m a writer, speaker, and industry analyst for the telecom, IT and media industries. The nature of my work is such that I visit about 70 countries every year, from wealthy First World countries with the most advanced telecom networks available to Third World countries that in many cases are building networks for the first time.

My plan is to take you on a journey through time and a voyage through space, showing you the best — and the worst — that telecom has to offer. For now, let’s go on a retrospective. Who would have thought that we would reach this point in our technological development?

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Introducing the Connected Life Exchange

Hello, my name is David. I want to tell you a story. It’s a story about the people who imagined that there might be a way to enable humans to communicate across time and space. It’s about their passion and determination to pursue that dream, to boldly explore all the possibilities.

It’s also about a series of events that led us to the invention of new technologies, to the development of new systems and the ongoing investment in essential network infrastructure that enabled a bounty of telecommunication innovations that would ultimately benefit all humanity.

This story began to unfold more than 150 years ago. Since then, there’s been rapid progress. In fact, people are now accessing many types of multimedia content on a multitude of connected devices. The “connected life” reflects our desire to have many  integrated services and experiences that are available anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

Today we’re launching a new project.

Welcome to the Connected Life Exchange – an evolving narrative about how people connect, communicate, and collaborate.

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