Cisco To Make Jewish State First Fully Digital Country

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Cisco Systems CEO John Chambers predicted that Israel would be the world’s first fully digital country while visiting the Jewish State few weeks ago. When Chambers met with Prime  Minister  Benjamin  Netanyahu,  the  duo agreed to establish a working group to explore how Cisco could help upgrade Israel’s digital infrastructure.

Israel’s transformation to next-generation ‘Start-Up Nation,’ the digitalization of the whole country, that is the future,” said Chambers, who was in the Jewish State to celebrate  Shimon Peres’ 90th birthday. “Israel is going to be the first digital nation if we are successful.

Cisco plans to partner with Israel Electric Corp. to build a nation-wide fiber-optic network that Chambers hopes will eventually serve as Israel’s backbone for electricity, television, health care and even education. The system faces competition from similar, smaller networks by Hot Telecommunication System Ltd. and Bezeq.

Over the next decade, Cisco estimates that private companies will be able to net some $14 trillion in profits from the increasing connectivity facilitation by the network, creating a so-called “Internet of everything.” Cisco believes that in 2013 alone, profits from this Internet will reach $613 billion.

Chambers envisions that a chunk of the profits from this “Internet of everything” will derive from the ability to link up everyday appliances—doors, desks and cars—to this super fast Internet, allowing users to control these devices through software. “This is where the real revolution is taking place, and we are supplying the architecture for it,” Chambers said.

Israel’s Finance Ministry approved a group of investors and companies to partner with Israel Electric for the project. Under the terms of the deal, expected to be finalized within weeks, Cisco will provide financing of about $140 million. The entire infrastructure is estimated to cost around $1.39 billion.

To help with the project, Cisco announced three initiatives in Israel: a cyber security research and development lab; a building security consulting service; and a pilot training program on information security.

There will be challenges and controversies along the way,” Chambers allowed. “When you do something no other nation’s done you are taking risk and it is a risk Cisco is very much committed to.” Chambers sees the network as a test case for the technology and model for other countries to follow. (via JSpace)

(Photo: Avital Pinnick @Flickr)


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