Recently, President George W. Bush and his administration made the commitment to bring affordable broadband access to every American by 2007. We at Cisco applaud this decision, given the impact such a program could bring to citizens. But the true issue is, when you think about successful technology implementations, it’s really the technology combined with educational opportunities and a supportive government that ultimately fosters success. I think we’ve taken the first steps toward this, but we have a long way to go.

What technology do you think will have the most impact in the coming decade?
It’s really about affordable broadband access — high-speed Internet access — to every American home, and eventually across the globe. Broadband can be thought of as a superhighway that goes directly to the home. Think of the limitations you’d have if a highway full of traffic attempted to reach your home through a mere access road or avenue. The traffic would be so backed up, no one would be able to reach you. The same goes for the Internet. To capture all it has to offer, you literally need that superhighway to reach your front door.

With broadband as that superhighway, all of a sudden you have a combination of data, voice, and video bringing education to the home, entertainment to the home, healthcare to the home. You have the ability to improve your work-life balance by paying bills from home, by working from home after spending an evening with your family, rather than staying late at the office. It will not just change our lives, but improve them in ways we hadn’t thought previously.

"the internet will revolutionize the way businesses are run, drive productivity for companies and countries worldwide, and increase the standard of living ... "