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CeBIT 99: Cisco praises Singapore, bitches about Europe

And what about all those politicos queuing for photos with Gates?

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Cisco CEO John Chambers said at CeBIT that he thought that Singapore had the best educational system in the world, and he could not find enough praise for the plan to wire the whole country (about the size of the Isle of Wight, it seemed to us). Of course his view is completely objective and unrelated to any Cisco contact to service the island for the Internet. But Chambers seemed to be the only big guy talking about the Internet at CeBIT - the buzz everywhere else is on portable devices. Chambers' sidekick James Richardson, introduced as President of Europe (the vacancy must have been filled remarkably quickly), thought that electronic commerce (and by implication Cisco sales) had been held up by the wicked telecom charging practices of Deutsche Telekom. He was pleased to see that charges had dropped from eight times US rates to four times US rates, but it was not good enough. In the US, 8Mbs cost around $50/month, he noted, and would cost thousands of dollars in Europe if it were available. Commenting on the recent Cisco deal with Telia, Richardson claimed that it was an innovative financial transaction whereby Cisco had purchased the network assets to avoid any necessity to increase the capitalisation of Telia. The question now must be which European PTT/Telco is next? In the miscellaneous information department, Chambers noted that the CTO of AT&T has decided it will be technically better and less expensive to have an IP infrastructure rather than one based on switching. Heinrich Geisler, a German consultant, asked Chambers about Bill Gates' visit to German Chancellor Schroder, and whether Chambers would be seeking such a meeting. Chambers misunderstood the thrust of the question and went on about how Cisco should be doing more politicking. Geisler told The Register afterwards that he was disgusted at the power that Gates had to influence politicians, and put forward the view that the politicians were totally ignorant about IT and only did it to get a photograph with Gates. Geisler also said that he thought it bizarre that Germany rather than the UK should run the largest computer show in the world. How true. ® 'Ethical' Cisco CEO will avoid anti-trust concerns Cisco CEO berates British education system Cisco chief pans Ascend takeover

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