Finding a Global Balance

Cisco's Connected Urban Development Seeks to Marry the Company to "Green"

We look at the economic and social tensions of globalization and discuss two approaches that seek to balance free markets with justice.. How to purchase this issue. $350 or $1400 group.

February 1, Ewing, NJ -- The March issue looks at globalization and focuses on Cisco's Connected Urban Development Program for green ICT in cities.

Executive Summary

Strategic Futures: Working out the
tension between the “free market” and “justice” pp. 1-5

Our introductory essay looks at two antidotes to unrestricted worship of Milton Friedman. One is Michael Conroy’s study Branded: How the Certification Revolution is Transforming Global Corporations. Conroy shows how it is possible to stand up to seemingly heartless multi nationals in the field of corporate ethics and environmentalism by mounting campaigns about wrongs being done and pointing out that consumer boycotts can cost companies tens of billions in the value of their brand which ,to many corporations, is worth more than their physical plant.


I wonder whether telco and Internet stake holders could be encouraged to work together in an examination of the ways in which everyone involved could work together to flesh out the steps needed to create a “certification-as-customer-friendly” program housed under the wing of an NGO with an independent compliance monitoring group?

Given the monarchical approach of ATT, might Verizon see such a program as a way to increase its brand value and thereby get a leg up on the other colossus? Most significant is that participation in such a program can be shown to have positive monetary value to the company in terms of its Brand value.

The other “antidote” I touch on is the work of David Rothkopf. His new book Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making will be published march 18th.

Rothkopf is equally fascinating. He looks at corporations, the government and the public interest and explains in a new and refreshing way why they are so badly out of whack. He juxtaposes our traditional goals of freedom and justice and finds that over reliance on free markets has left justice in a position of gross disparity. The pendulum he finds has swung to a position in favor of freedom over justice that is simply not sustainable. He suggests that we will before long see the emergence of new forces that will swing the pendulum into a position of better balance.

He says it happens all the time that profound changes of the global order occur. They change most often because the old order is no longer sustainable. We are now in a situation in which because of all the changes i have enumerated tension is being built into the system - how this tension plays out will affect everyone of us he concludes.

Speaking of tension I quote John Mauldin’s January 25 newsletter: “What about the trillions that are guaranteed by banks and hedge funds? There are a total of $45 trillion CDSs (Credit Default Swaps) outstanding.” “No one is really sure who owes what and to whom, and what is the risk that there may be no one to pay that CDS when it comes due? The entire mess is going to have to be unwound in the coming quarters. It may take a year or more.”

Note that Mauldin is talking about 45 trillion dollars in global assets. Tension in the system indeed. We are certainly living in interesting times. Anyone think the telecom system will survive long in its current form? I don’t.

Connected Urban Development, pp. 7 - 15

Cisco has been working with Amsterdam, San Francisco and Seoul for more than a year on a coordinated program. The Connected Urban Development program seeks to help these cities understand how to develop and promote new programs and devices that will enable residents to use the city’s broadband networks in such a way that the outcome will reduce the city’s carbon foot print – which is to say reduce the cities emission of CO2 and thereby reduce its impact on global warming

Nicola Villa the global director of the program explains: “We wanted be able to work with cities that had the capability of building new solutions, applications and services over broadband infrastructure and by doing this to leverage that infrastructure. We saw us helping them to create a local eco-system of partners who would deliver those kinds of solutions.”

In working toward this goal it is necessary to consider the economic and social impacts of changing the way a large city runs. If you try to create less commuting from the suburbs to the city center, you are going to be taking away economic activity from the city. CUD wants to help its partner cities tyo find those urban applications that can be replicated and developed globally. Partner cities can reap benefits of being “green” but can also become cities that can export green knowledge, products and technology solutions to the rest of the world.

By incorporating technology planning a city can work more efficiently in environmental social and economic terms. This is true because the city now has the infrastructure which allows it to communicate to people using voice video and data as its modalities without necessarily having them need to leave their homes in order to go to work. Villa in talking to mayors in many cities found that they were all focusing to some degree on use of technology to solve environmental social and economic issues but that most cities lacked was a means of integrating their programs in this area so that they could develop them in a way where they would not conflict with each other. Looking at these issues as they cut across economic sectors helps decision makers to shape their strategy with more effectiveness.

The ETNO report finds that broadband and ICT can mitigate up to ten times more carbon emissions than they create. This is what we would like to prove. Demonstrating the difference that ICT makes and showing why it matters is the central point of all our efforts.

Villa finds that “If you are going to be successful in executing your model for sustainable cities, you need to make sure that enough resources are there at the edge so that anyone at the edge can collaborate independently of the center within a matrix of new partners. Therefore you do not lock yourself into a command and control operation where content is produced centrally and sent afar. Instead you are looking to co-production of content and services by citizens and in the distributed network the city creates. This is the fundamental idea of applying our human network strategy to a distributed way in which the cities can work.”

Villa points out that information about travel conditions could, with the proper tool development, be relayed in real time to urban citizens to help them make informed decision about their travel. He points out that this is the philosophy behind a personal travel assistant that Cisco is helping all three cities develop. The goal is to enable informed decisions that people should be taking at the edge of any network in order to be able to change their behavior and be able to contribute to the common good that in this case is reduced emissions and increased economic efficiency.


The methodology for each city in the program is a four-stage process. The first stage is to identify and prioritize a portfolio of solutions. Second to create what we call value cases. here we figure out what is required to develop a solution for each project as well as quantifying what it delivers in terms of cost sayings and carbon footprint reduction. Then, third, as a proof of concept, we develop a prototype that can be used to demonstrate not only the value but also how this service would work. One would next look at technology reference architectures. The question here is what is a technology compliant network for a PTA? How do you build up you infrastructure, your applications and your middle ware to respond the demands of a PTA?

The process is bottom up. What is the objective? What technology would satisfy that objective? Then what architectural changes have to be made to enable the technology to met the objective?

We are exploring how to spread what we are doing to other cities. The Carbon Reduction Blueprints Diagram on page 20 of this issue shows a portfolio that allows a city to calculate - at least on a high level - what its impact on the carbon footprint will be for projects involving 1. teleworking; 2. traffic management and public transit; 3. connected real estate; 4. green urban planning; 5. green IT; 6. sustainable energy. For each of these six cream colored “silos” we are saying to new cities that may be interested but may not understand how to proceed “here is a blue print and tool box.” This blue print and tool box will show the city what it can build, if it has a networked infrastructure on which to build. We say to new cities that, by using the MIT built proof of concepts, you will get a technology tool kit that you can apply to the building of new architectures in your city. This for example is what a PTA compliant infrastructure would look like. This tool kit blue print is meant to enable cities to move to pilot projects

Symposium Discussion Mid December to Mid January, p. 26

OFCOM Report: The International
Communications Market 2007

Ofcom report on the international communications market in 2007 is described as is Sandvine’s deep packet inspection equipment.

We also offer a short discussion of Google’s view of cloud computing. Fred Goldstein points out John Day’s new book: Patterns of Network Architecture – a Return to Fundamentals.

Chris Anderson’s Free, p. 31

Chris Anderson, author of The Long Tail, previews his next book, on the how the world will be different as it moves toward free bits.

The whole business of thinking about the internet based economy in a skillful well presented argument is not easy to do. Anderson in this net viewable lecture does a superb job.

FCC on Media
Consolidation, p. 33

A rant against Kevin Martin’s Betrayal of the public Interest. [snip] On December 19th, 2007 the FCC majority made a ruling approving further media consolidation. The url below will get you to the FCC page where you can grab the PDF of Copps dissent where, in places that I don't quote below, he notes how last minute changes in the ruling that the commissioners were asked to rule on where made in revisions emailed to them in the middle of the night.

DRM and Control of Content p. 36

COOK Report: On following one of Dirk's links, I made a belated discovery of Larry Lessig's Free Culture.

I spent the greater part of the day reading it from start to finish. At the end of the book when he describes the RIAA's refusal to allow the Eldred legislation to become law (to extend copyright beyond 28 years owners would have to fill out a form and pay the nominal fee of one dollar) he concludes that the RIAA is determined that a public domain for culture will never be allowed.

Energy and networks p. 39

Herman Wagter: Quote - To this end, I'm extremely interested in the policy, research and business models that reshape the Individual's experience with energy - giving people demand-response technology so they can monitor their consumption, providing affordable and effective distributed technologies so they can generate their own power and sell the rest back to the grid via net-metering, powering their hybrid vehicle directly from this distributed generation rather than going to the gas station and recycling their garbage and waste for both power and profit. __Ultimately, the Individual is empowered, actively engaged in their own power consumption and generation, to their profit and the profit of the industry (and society and our environment) as a whole.

Joost van der Vleuten: Yep, that's exactly the link between internet-as-we-(like-to)-know-it and energy-as-we-hope-to-'create'... Takes not just technology, but a totally different market model, lot's of disruptive stuff for the incumbents etc. [Later]\
Cecil: Be careful of taking the term P2P too literally. It points to a deeper current - perhaps we could call it a movement towards micro-utilities, but I think it is even deeper - simply the diffusion of technology and capability into the hands of people who make use of it in new and unexpected ways.

Connect Kentucky Provides Uncertain Model for Federal Legislation p. 46

By Art Brodsky on January 9, 2008 –
The only telecommunications legislation that has a chance of passing the Congress controlled by Democrats this year is modeled on a group whose apparent accomplishments are open to question and whose origins are in Republican politics in Kentucky. That group is Connected Nation, which began life as Connect Kentucky. [snip]

Connect is on the cusp of bigger things. It has renamed itself Connected Nation, and is poised to try to replicate its model across the country. It has become a star on Capitol Hill, the model for programs enshrined in bills that, in different form, have passed the Senate and the House and others that are waiting for action. Some of those bills have millions of dollars in potential grant money attached to them, with the Connected organization now positioned perfectly to receive them.

COOK Report: Art points out that the extent to which this effort is controlled by ATT is unclear.

Martin Geddes on Future of Telecom p. 51

Lee Dryburgh interviews Martin Geddes: Martin states the SMS market last year totaled $100 billion dollars which is bigger than movies, music and computer gaming all put together

“For the few gigabytes worth of traffic that all of SMS adds up to, some small amount the users are paying some very very large amount of money but only if you view that purely from a very technical viewpoint. What that is telling us is a couple of things. One of which is that when you brake apart a product into small pieces and sell it by the sachet rather than by the big bulk bottle, you get much higher margins...snip: Why don't we focus on allowing the IP part to do what it does well which is how do we enable the rendezvous' in front of this phone call, how do we return signals and presence data and the little picture of where I am at, location information to help people make phone calls at the right time. Stop worrying about trying to do voice over IP until the technology is super duper mature and until we can not possibly afford to maintain two networks which is quite a long way away still and let the phone network do what it does well which is phone calls.”

When Martin said that I could not help but ask what he felt about 21CN:

“If we just focus in on the voice part of the network itself, what I'd be tempted to do is look at how long from inception to delivery [of 21CN]. In this environment that is an awfully long time over which to be planning a technology project.


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It’s Necessary to Balance Global Power Structures Between Freedom and Justice

Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making and Branded Carry Similar Messages

The Superclass p. 2
Corporations Were Created in the 14th Century p. 4
Financial Tension p. 5

Nicola Villa Explains Cisco’s Connected Urban Development Program

Partnership with Amsterdam, Seoul & San
Francisco to Develop Viable Green Broadband
Implementation for Urban Development

IBSG and Strategic Advice p. 7
A Three Legged Approach: Environmental, Economic, and
Social Inclusion Mapped onto Urban Infrastructure p. 9
Use Technology to Change Infrastructure and in Turn
How the City Works p. 10
The Methodology of Our Approach-
Building Edge Based Decentralization p. 12
Personal Travel Assistant p. 14
Connected Buildings and Green Homes p. 15
The Role of MIT p. 17
A Four Stage Process to Ensure Useful Deliverables p. 18
Carbon Reduction Blueprints: a Mental Map for How
the Process Works p. 19
Where the CUD Program is Headed? p. 22

Symposium Discussion: December 13 2007 to January 18 2008

OFCOM Report: The International
Communications Market 2007 p. 26

Sandvine Makes Nooses for the Internet p. 26

Google and Cloud Computing

The Wisdom of Clouds p. 28
Network Coding p. 29

Internet implications of Christopher Anderson’s New Book: Free p. 31

Is this Deep Packet Inspection to the Max? p. 32

FCC on Media Consolidation

Kevin Martin's Betrayal of this Nation's Most
Basic Principles p. 33
Copps Has Had Enough p. 33
Whatever Happened to the Concepts of
National and Public Interest? p. 34
DRM and Control of Content p. 36

Data Networks and Energy p. 39

Peer to Peer and Energy p. 41

Connected Nation is not the Model
for a Broadband USA

Is Connected Nation Basically a Front for AT&T? p.46

Martin Geddes on The Future of Telecoms and Broadband p. 51

Use the Internet for What it Does Really Well p. 53

Executive Summary p. 58

Symposium & Interview Contributors to this Issue

Affiliation given for purposes of identification - views expressed are those of the contributors alone


Jim Baller, Partner Baller Herbst law firm
Michel Blauwens, lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he created the Foundation for P2P Alternatives
Art Brodsky, Communications Director, Public Knowledge
Robert Cannon, Senior Counsel for Internet Law, FCC
Erik Cecil, Telecom Regulatory Attorney
Roland Cole, Director of Technology Policy at Sagamore Institute for Policy Research
Frank Coluccio, President, DTI Consulting Inc. South Street Seaport, NY NY
Mark Cooper, Director of Research of the Consumer Federation of America
Lee Dryburgh, SS7 specialist, Doctoral Candidate University College London
Harold Feld, Senior Vice President, Media Access Project
Martin Geddes, Chief Analyst STL Partners, instigator of Telco 2.0 and Telepocalypse blog
Fred Goldstein, Principal of Ionary Consulting, author of The Great Telecom Meltdown
Kevin Marks, now with Google, Coauthor Micro Formats, Quick Time Developer
Andrew Odlyzko, Director Digital Technology Center, University of Minnesota
Ed Pimentel, CTO AgileCo, Alpharetta Georgia
Bill St Arnaud, Director Ca*Net4, Canada's high speed research network
Joost van der Vleuten, analyst telecom and energy, Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Netherlands.
Nicola Villa, Global Director of Cisco’s Connected Urban Development program
Dirk van der Woude, Civil Servant Amsterdam and fiber expert
John Waclawsky, Chief Software Architect, Motorola