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Cisco to transform Israel into the first all digital nation in the world

By Mason White 12:16 PM June 21, 2013
Cisco CEO John Chambers with Benjamin Netanyahu 

By: Moses Gold
(Scroll down for video) Cisco Systems announced that the company will transform the State of Israel into an all digital country, the first in the world, according to a statement released by the CEO of the company.

John Chambers said that Cisco will make Israel fully digital with a fiber optic network that will serve multiple needs, demonstrating the technology that other countries would love to adopt.

“The transformation of Israel into the next generation, Start-Up Nation, the digitization of the entire country, that is the future,” CEO John Chambers, referring to the title of a book about the technology industry in the country said. “Israel will be the first digital nation if we succeed,” Chambers said.

Cisco is likely to quickly begin the network construction along with Israel Electric. Cisco is competing with Hot System and Bezeq. The new fiber optic network will eventually serve as the backbone of electricity, television, health and even education, Chambers said in Jerusalem.

“I’m starting to believe that this will happen,” Ori Licht, head of research at Tel Aviv-based IBI-Israel Brokerage and Investments said.

The Israeli Ministry of Finance has green-lighted a group of investors and companies that will partner with Israel Electric for the project, and the final plan is expected within a few weeks. Cisco will provide vendor financing of $140 million and the cost of all the infrastructure has been estimated at 5 billion shekels or $1.4 billion.

“There will be challenges and controversies along the way,” Chambers said, without elaborating. “When you do something that no other country has done you are taking risk, a risk Cisco is very committed to,” Chambers added.

One challenge will be how to protect the network and the Cisco laboratory in Israel, which develops security technologies.
Israel is a good choice for the project because the number of technology startups, small land mass, medium population size, and high level of education, Chambers said. “The new network will be a model for other countries,” Chambers said.Mobile video not loading? Click here to view