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Cisco’s Chambers Weaves Next-Gen Web

LAS VEGAS — Cisco CEO/chairman John Chambers predicted that online social networking and streaming video will form the backbone of the next-generation Internet, and that government, business and educators must work together to ensure that the United States participates in the economic boom it will bring.

Chambers delivered his cyber sermon Tuesday night during a keynote address at the Consumer Electronics Association’s (CEA) annual Leaders In Technology Dinner at the Venetian Hotel, which drew such dignitaries as Rwanda President Paul Kagame, government leaders including Federal Communications Comission chairman Kevin Martin and U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Susan Schwab, and hundreds of movers and shakers from the CE and entertainment industries.

Chambers spoke with evangelical zeal about the next evolutionary phase in broadband development, in which content will “find” users globally, distant family members will gather together via holograph and the CE industry will move from a device-centric to a network-centric model. The advances, he said, represent a market transition that will supercharge productivity and “change the economic fabric of nations.”

In his opening remarks, CEA president/CEO Gary Shapiro urged government to promote free trade, which the CE industry depends on for continued growth, and offered best wishes to industry icons Jack Wayman, creator of CES, and Bob Gerson, founding editor of TWICE magazine, who sat out their first show in decades.