8:00 PM -- SAN DIEGO -- Cisco Live --
So, I walk into the press room Wednesday afternoon to file this other story, and the PR people slap me (not literally) with this press release about the US Ignite project to build a 1Gbit/s nationwide network.
Actually, the lead of the press release is about making it cheaper to get right-of-way on federal property to build networks. The part about the cool 1Gbit/s network is down at the bottom of Page 1. (See US Aims for 1-Gig Broadband.)
Along with the press release came a fact sheet (PDF) that includes descriptions of US Ignite's commercial partners -- tech companies -- and that's where the fun begins.
It's obvious the particpating technology companies have to write their own blurbs about their participation. Some are tame enough for the general press: Comcast Corp., for instance, will work with universities "to jointly develop and test next-generation applications."
What's fun are the blurbs that go big with acronyms and software-defined networking (SDN) namedropping.
Cisco Systems Inc. says it will provide telepresence access, which is reasonable, but then goes on to say it will offer application programming interfaces (APIs) from the onePK platform kit that was introduced Wednesday. (See Cisco Takes ONE Step Beyond SDN.)
I'm guessing that part's not going to make it onto CNN.
Neither is Big Switch Networks likely to get many calls from the Beltway press asking for specifics about how its network virtualization is "allowing many organizations to design and operate their own virtual networks suitable to their applications on top of a shared physical network."
Granted, the factsheet is going to find its way to the tech journalists who actually understand some of this stuff. It got into my hands, didn't it?
And I suppose it's meaningful that so many companies -- Juniper Networks Inc. and NEC Corp. included -- envision using this 1Gbit/s project as a testing ground for SDN. The government wants next-generation applications, and as plenty of people will cynically tell you, SDN is very next-generation.
But I'm sure most of the press will just throw out the techy parts of the factsheet -- just like I glossed over the right-of-way part up at the top.
Now, if the White House's goal was to get an "SDN" headline in Light Reading -- that's another thing entirely.
— Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading