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Cisco Rounding Up Digital Talent

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-04-21

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A $250,000 promotion conducted by networking giant Cisco and Viacom's mtvU college network will support a "Digital Incubator" for broadband content.

Cisco makes hardware that delivers most if not all of the Internet content people see at any given time, depending on where they are. Their networking equipment resides in server rooms and hosting centers worldwide.

Hardware reliability can be a double-edged sword. If it doesn't physically break, a typical Cisco router can function for a long time. That presents CEO/president John Chambers and the executive team with a dilemma - how to drive new hardware sales.

While the company profits on the various support agreements it sells, hardware makes a big difference on the bottom line. Today's visit by President Bush and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, while a couple of heavy hitters themselves, won't be enough to push up a Cisco stock price that has flattened in the low $20s.

Creating demand means creating a supply of content that will move more effectively over newer networking equipment; that seems to be the intent behind the first annual "Digital Incubator" Cisco announced this week.

A call for content submissions to mtvU's Über broadband-only outlet resulted in the ten most original and innovative entries being selected to receive grants of up to $25,000 and a national spotlight on mtvU, mtvU Über at mtvU.com, and mtvU's mobile carrier partners, Cisco said in a statement.

"The new forms of storytelling, gaming, and interactivity emerging from the convergence of broadband technologies and entertainment offer endless inspiration for this group of students and for others who will follow their lead," said Dan Scheinman, Senior Vice President, Corporate Development, Cisco Systems.

The competition ended with ten efforts being greenlit for broadcast on Über. People may view these projects online. Who knows, something there may be the creation that moves broadband usage, and purchases of shiny Cisco hardware, to a whole new level.

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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