Broadband to become San Francisco utility
"The Connected Urban Development concept complements San Francisco's Climate Action Plan and will help make our carbon-reduction goals a reality," San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, host of the event, told participants.
Newsom said that cities are the largest contributor to energy consumption and climate change.
"Cities are responsible for 75 percent of the planet's energy use. Sixty percent of the world will live in cities by 2030, and global electricity use will grow by more than 35 percent," Newsom said. "We've got to get something started now to hold off detrimental effects to the environment that have already begun."
Newsom told eWEEK in a separate conversation that he sees the city's three-year-old municipal broadband project-which had involved Google and EarthLink but since has been tabled with no resolution-eventually becoming a kind of city utility.
"With all the different ISPs now in use [in the city], we're just going to have to find a way to get them to all work together so that the underserved in the community [who cannot afford to buy a connection] can also use the Internet for their own betterment," Newsom told eWEEK. "It will eventually happen. I'm confident of it."
CUD's mission over time is to issue a set of blueprints of best practices and methodologies that can be used as a reference by other cities. These blueprints will be replicated to additional cities during the second CUD phase (to Madrid, Hamburg, Lisbon and Birmingham, UK), then scaled on a global basis in the third phase.
"It is our responsibility as global citizens to help address the challenges of climate change," Chambers said in his keynote address. "Cisco is approaching this by not only reducing our own company's carbon output, but also by helping our customers and partners use the network as a 'green' platform for sustainable business and government progress.
"If we are innovative and collaborative in our approach, ICT (information and communications technology) can dramatically improve how we manage our global environmental footprint and climate concerns," Chambers said.