Cisco Systems, Inc.
Cisco’s Global Policy and Government Affairs (GPGA) team develops and influences pro-technology public policies and regulations. Working collaboratively with industry stakeholders, association partners, and government leaders, GPGA builds relationships with government leaders to influence policies that affect Cisco’s business and overall IT adoption, helping to shape policy decisions at a global, national, and local level.
CISCO GLOBAL GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS Cisco’s corporate headquarters are in San Jose, California, USA, but we have extensive presence in London, England; Brussels, Belgium and Sydney, Australia as well as some presence in 72 other countries around the world. Our international public policy agenda is in line with our global objectives: empowering citizens, investing in knowledge, promoting innovation and accelerating the deployment of broadband.
Global Policy and Government Affairs
|The role of GPGA is to track pertinent legislation and rules and be trusted advisors to heads of state, members of legislatures, regulators, ministers and their staffs. We look forward to being available for listening to, consulting with and advising governments on the impact of the Internet. Cisco’s Global Policy and Government Affairs (GPGA) team develops and influences pro-technology public policies and regulations. Working collaboratively with industry stakeholders, association partners, and government leaders, GPGA builds relationships with government leaders to influence policies that affect Cisco’s business and overall IT adoption, helping to shape policy decisions at a global, national, and local level. GPGA is composed of former elected officials, legislators, parliamentarians, regulators, senior U.S. government officials and government affairs professionals who help Cisco promote and protect the use of technology around the world.CRITICAL POLICY PRIORITIESBROADBAND Access to broadband Internet—high-speed, always-on communication links that can move large files much more quickly than a regular phone line—is critical to advancing the way people work, live, play, and learn. With easy access to such high-speed communications technology, both citizens and countries benefit through increased educational opportunities, business productivity, job growth, and economic prosperity. Broadband Internet access is available over a variety of platforms including cable modems, digital subscriber lines (DSL), wireless, satellite, powerline (BPL), fiber optics to the home (FTTH), or long reach ethernet (LRE). On a global basis, nations vary in their approaches to investing in and supporting technology infrastructure. Some of the issues slowing broadband deployment include:
Cisco’s Position Cisco believes that leading countries must develop comprehensive national broadband infrastructure deployment plans that include policies to:
WIRELESS SPECTRUM Consumers around the world continue to turn to mobile devices for voice, data, and Internet access. At the same time, demand continues to grow for technologies relying on wireless fixed use, also known as “transport” links or, in emerging markets, as access connections. The world’s leading mobility technologies—incumbent technologies such as GSM and CDMA, and new ones like WiFi and WiMax—are constantly evolving to provide ever more robust broadband services. All of these factors spotlight the need for strategically allocated radio spectrum, both licensed and unlicensed. Background Regulators who oversee spectrum play a key role in ensuring access to broadband spectrum is transparent, efficient, and equitable. One of the pitfalls in regulating the wireless spectrum is assigning specific frequencies to particular technologies, which inadvertently leads to “picking a technology winner.” Limiting spectrum to a particular service without flexibility or a plan for future allocations can result in unintended consequences. For example, in some developed countries, spectrum that has been assigned to inefficient 20th century technologies and services now needs to be migrated to 21st century technologies and services. Of course, countries also must work together to harmonize their spectrum allocations, such as 2.4 GHz unlicensed spectrum, to better support the needs of global citizens, businesses and international relations. Cisco’s Position In addition to being the largest manufacturer of WiFi devices that use license-exempt spectrum, Cisco is also a vendor of WiMax base stations, antenna systems, and client cards. In addition, many Cisco networking technologies and solutions are designed to work with, and enhance, the operation of wireless networks. As a leading provider of wireless technology solutions, Cisco supports: New allocations and re-allocations of spectrum for broadband uses, including: 700 MHz, which was globally harmonized for wireless broadband services by the World Radiocommunication Conference of 2007. In countries where 700 MHz is occupied by analog television, Cisco supports the transition to digital broadcasting with the goal of opening up spectrum suitable for broadband applications 2.5 and 3.4-3.6 GHz, frequencies used by WiMax systems. Cisco is working with the WiMax Forum to open this spectrum around the world. 2.4 and 5 GHz, license-exempt spectrum used by WiFi networks. Regulators should broadly allocate spectrum without regard to specific technologies, and should set minimum technical rules necessary to avoid harmful interference. Regulators should not specifically limit particular frequencies to a specific use (e.g., spectrum that may be used today for mobile TV delivery could also be used for bidirectional broadband services). SECURITY The unprecedented connectivity of the Internet age has led to enormous social and economic benefits, but has also introduced numerous new challenges. In a fully connected world, security threats continue to evolve, keeping ahead of the most advanced defenses. Background Network-based security threats have led to widespread identity theft and financial fraud. Spam, viruses, and spyware cause significant problems for consumers and businesses. A security breach may irreparably damage a company’s brand or reputation. In the U.S., security issues threaten to slow the national adoption of electronic medical records. In the EU, consumer confidence regarding security and data protection is a barrier to the more rapid expansion of e-commerce across member state borders. Today’s information attacks are a profitable business enterprise and are often controlled by organized crime syndicates. A growing number of sophisticated cybercrime business models, including the emergence of criminal enterprises, are built around selling tools and services for launching network attacks, rather than simply selling information gained from attacks. Security technology continues to advance, changing from passive, point product-based to active, end-to-end approaches to security recognition, containment, and quarantine. In addition, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are competing on security and consumer ISPs offer security as part of their service. Policy makers around the world are focused on the state of the information infrastructure. Policy makers want to ensure that users of networks employ the best technology and process practices to make networks as secure as possible. Governments and businesses continually update their strategies to prevent attacks, and public-private partnerships have been formed to develop voluntary, market-based approaches to security. Cisco’s Position Cisco believes that governments can help decrease cyber security threats by:
Cisco does not believe that governments should regulate security. In general, regulation:
PATENT REFORM U.S. patent law is in need of reform—its last major overhaul was in 1952. The patent system is encumbered by out-of-date procedures, limited resources, and obsolete guidelines that result in the commonplace granting of overly-broad patents. This climate has led to an increase in unjustified lawsuits by speculative patent holders against large and small companies alike. As a consequence, fear of litigation and mounting legal costs are stifling technology innovation and threatening U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. Background Cisco strongly supports patent protection. We hold more than 2,500 issued U.S. patents, with active applications for more than 4,000 others. The value of our company rests upon the intellectual property embodied in our networking products—both hardware and software. Cisco’s patent program helps ensure the company’s ability to improve and successfully market its products. We believe that the purpose of the patent system is to ensure that inventors, such as those within Cisco, have the incentive to invest in further innovation and promote public access to new inventions. But patent law has not kept pace with the global and innovative nature of the 21st century innovation economy. Patent speculators claim overly-broad patents for technologies that they do not intend to develop, and aggressively and widely enforce their patents against alleged infringers by attempting to negotiate outrageous licensing fees and litigating the case if fees are refused. Patent speculators are notorious for bringing their case to court in districts that are known for favoring the plaintiff in patent lawsuits, a practice known as forum shopping. The process and guidelines used by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) do not take into account the growth of patent litigation. Current rules encourage jackpot-like lawsuits that rob companies and the U.S. economy of billions of dollars that would otherwise be invested in jobs, innovation, consumer savings and shareholder value. Cisco’s Position Federal patent reform legislation is needed to curb excessive patent litigation and improve patent quality. Cisco supports efforts to pass common-sense patent reform legislation and is working with industry groups and legislators to address these issues. Patent reform legislation to repair the broken U.S. patent system will foster more innovation, increased investment in research and jobs, greater shareholder value and enhanced U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace. Among our priorities are:
VOICE OVER IP As VoIP technology matures, government agencies increasingly regulate VoIP services in the same way as traditional phone service, imposing comparable regulations on VoIP providers. The majority of regulators are reviewing their position on social requirements such as emergency services and numbering resources that should be allocated to VoIP services. In some countries, economic regulations similar to taxes imposed on circuit-switched service providers are also under consideration. Background As VoIP services experience a tremendous growth rate in both consumer and business markets, government agencies globally increasingly regulate them in the same manner as traditional phone services. For example, in the United States, interconnected VoIP providers are required to support enhanced 911 (E911) emergency services that provide caller identification and location information to the call-answering center; lawful intercept, which allows law enforcement agencies access for court-approved electronic surveillance; and 711 functionality for the disabled, which allows hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired users to call others through the phone network using keyboards. VoIP operators have also been required by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to support local number portability, allowing subscribers to switch carriers and retain the same phone number; and to make financial contributions such as regulatory fees and universal service fees, which ensure a baseline level of voice service to every U.S. resident. In the European Union, VoIP regulation is left to each member state’s national telecommunications regulator, though there are now moves to harmonize this at an EU level. Key issues that are on the agenda of EU regulators include requirements to provide emergency call access and number portability between traditional PSTN and VoIP services. In some countries with state-operated circuit-based phone systems, VoIP may be illegal or heavily taxed. Cisco’s PositionCisco supports the principles of open, accessible, market-driven Internet services, including VoIP:
NET NEUTRALITY CNet neutrality legislation would mandate the terms, conditions, and prices set by broadband Internet service providers, restricting their ability to use innovative network management technology, provide appropriate levels of quality of service, and deliver new features and services to meet evolving consumer needs. Opponents of net neutrality regulations, including Cisco, believe that allowing the development of differentiated broadband products, with different service and content offerings, will enhance the broadband market for consumers. Background In just a decade or so, the Internet has gone from use by a handful of technically savvy people to an essential part of the daily lives of hundreds of millions. So far, the Internet has been an unqualified success, adopted faster and used more creatively than almost any other technology in human history. With the increase in Internet usage, consumer appetite for high-bandwidth content such as streaming video and peer-to-peer file sharing continues to grow. The quality-of-service and throughput requirements of such content bring concerns about network congestion and infrastructure investment and development. This has been addressed in part by technology developments that allow service providers to differentiate among data types or sources. These technology advancements have led some broadband service providers to consider prioritizing data traffic to improve network management and provide premium services. Net neutrality advocates recommend legal and regulatory restrictions on broadband Internet access services to effectively mandate the terms, conditions, and prices set by broadband service providers. It would restrict their ability to use innovative technology to manage their networks, provide appropriate levels of quality of service, and deliver new features and services to meet evolving consumer needs. Supporters of net neutrality believe that greater regulation is needed to prevent service providers from limiting bandwidth or services and creating two classes of Internet experience. Cisco and other opponents of net neutrality regulation believe that this approach is unnecessary and potentially harmful. Many of the Internet’s benefits come from its open nature and the ability of anyone to develop new and innovative devices and services that connect to it. Such innovation has created entirely new industries and has fostered competitive markets in Internet applications and equipment. Allowing broadband service providers to innovate freely and differentiate their networks will enable them to provide consumers with to enhanced service offerings and richer content. Cisco’s PositionCisco supports an open and innovative Internet, and believes that empowered consumers, maximum user choices, and a free marketplace are the keys to maintaining an open and innovative Internet. As such, Cisco helped produce the 2003 High Tech Broadband Coalition’s Connectivity Principles, which were embodied in the FCC’s Policy Statement of 2005. The Connectivity Principles and FCC Policy Statement protect consumers with information and the ability to use the Internet in an open fashion. Cisco continues to support these principles:
In addition, Cisco supports:
Membership in Trade Associations Cisco is an active participant in a number of industry trade associations. Aspen Institute Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) Business Software Alliance (BSA) California Chamber of Commerce Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) Civil Justice Association of California Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Council of the Americas European American Business Council European Industry Association (EICTA) Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) Joint-Venture : Silicon Vallet Network Joint US-China Collaboration on Clean Energy (JUCCCE) Milpitas Chamber of Commerce National Conference of State Legislatures National Governors Association North Carolina Citizens for Business and Industry (NCCBI) Progress and Freedom Foundation (PFF) Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) Public Affairs Council Republican Main Street Partnership San Jose/Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce Silicon Valley Leadership Group Stanford Institute for Economic Policy and Research (SIEPR) TechAmerica Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) The Technology Network (TechNet) U.S.-China Business Council U.S. Information Technology Association (USITO, Beijing) Wi-Fi Alliance Wireless Communications Association International (WCA)
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john johnson - Dir. of Government Affairs