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This turned out to be a very informative panel

Rob Frieden, Professor, Pennsylvannia State University: The Spin on Broadband Statistics.

Conclusion: benchmarks and statistics matter.  Measuring broadband penetration in the US is highly contentious.  Be suspicious of statistics like, “77% of al US zipcodes have a choice of at least 4 broadband providers”.  Reality is very different from what’s been presented by the outgoing Bush administration.

Heaher Hudson, Professor, University of San Francisco: Dr. Hudson is a tireless advocate of the right of people in small countries to good connectivity.  She points out that internet subscribers are less than 4 per 100 in small Pacific Island states, well-below the norm in advanced capitalist countries.  Listen to her discussion of how Skype Out rates to these countries is an indicator of the terrible state of connectivity in these countries.

I have to say that I do not totally agree with her assessment.  Skype Out rates in the other direction (periphery to core) are the more typical 2 cents a minute.

Francis Pereira, Professor, University of Southern California: By 2015, the advanced Asian countries promise 100 mbps into the home.

Singapore’s government initiatives include TradeNet, Singapore One Broadbad Network, economic incentices to ME’s to conduct e-commerce.

S’pore and Hong Kong offer good case studies because they are both large ports.  Very early on, they began to use technology to attract and hold shipping business.  Singapore’s TradeNet processes 99% of all trade declarations used by 2400 companies, at an estimated annual savings of $2.8 billion.

This is just one example from the presentation of how govt. initiatives drove the development of software and internet usage.

Laurie Sherman, Consultant

I created this blog and have been posting anonymously since it’s inception.  At the time, I felt that anonymity was the way to go, especially in the wake of the post-coup environment in Fiji and the amount of hate-speech that filled up (and continues to) fill up blogs and online discussion forums.

PTC ’09 brought me to this critical juncture where I had to decide whether I was going to continue being anonymous or whether I was going to step forward and claim full ownership of this blog.

with Vint Cerf, father of the internet.

with Vint Cerf, father of the internet.

@ the Tata Communications reception later that evening:

Josese Ravuvu, USP, myself, and Tomasi Vakatora, ATH CEO

Josese Ravuvu, USP, myself, and Tomasi Vakatora, ATH CEO

Jo from USP, Nick Halar of O3B, Steven Huter of Network Startup Resource Center, and Taito Tabaleka, CEO of TFL

Jo from USP, Nick Halar of O3B, Steven Huter of Network Startup Resource Center, and Taito Tabaleka, CEO of TFL

Dr. Semmoto is the most unusual speaker I came across at this conference.  That’s saying quite a bit when you have people like Vint Cerf present, as well.

He’s the founder of a handful of companies and they all seem to go on to be valued billions of dollars.  His present company Emobile Ltd. is a mobile internet venture.  He described at length how his company has risen to the top of the heap.  Keys to success:

* plans ranging from $10 to $50 USD for unlimited use

* giving away netbooks as a means to get users to sign up (he also pointed out that these are new customers at not those stolen from mobile voice providers)

Dr. Semmoto’s entrepreneurial spirit burns extremely bright and he’s an example of the kind of daredevils that are drawn to mobile internet.  He chafed under the bureaucracy at established player, NTT Docomo and went on to found the #2 mobile operator in Japan today, leaving it when it “became too bureaucratic”.

Emobile is his 5th company.  He urges young entrepreneurs to take inspiration from the fact that he founded his latest ‘baby’ well into his 60’s.

He truly is an inspiration for any entrepreneur

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