Believe Cisco’s ‘Next-Gen Internet’ When You See It

Tech giant Cisco (CSCO) broke out the hyperboles today with the announcement of its CRS-3 Carrier Routing System — billing it as “the next-generation Internet.” While some companies like Juniper Networks (JNPR), 3Com (COMS) and Brocade Communications (BRCD) may see a bit more business from the launch of this piece of high-speed computing hardware, this is hardly a game changer. The bottom line is that existing data speeds are more than adequate for most surfers of the ‘Net and that CSCO’s new gadget will take years to adopt.

And let’s not forget that the CRS-3 hasn’t really been tested or reviewed by consumers yet, and that the reality may never live up to the hype. Cisco’s bold claims that the routing system can download the entire printed collection of the Library of Congress in one second, or that every motion picture ever made can be streamed in less than four minutes are just marketing ploys until they are proven in the real world.

That said, the company is a tech leader for a reason and could move the needle at related suppliers with this routing system launch. Juniper Networks (JNPR), a digital infrastructure company, would race to provide a competing routing system if the CSCO hardware becomes the new gold standard.

The story is similar with 3Com (COMS) thanks to its late-2009 merger with Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) and Brocade Communications (BRCD). As leading manufacturers of routers as well as network administration and security software, these tech companies would see related business from widespread adoption of the CRS-3 or providing at least some component parts for a competing device. To a lesser extent, Sycamore Networks (SCMR) and Extreme Networks (EXTR) could also benefit.

On the downside, any widespread adoption of the new CSCO system could spell disaster for Akamai (AKAM). If speeds to ramp up to such a breakneck pace, allowing for large files to be accessed with ease and “cloud computing” to become a reality, why would any business bother storing content on site?

Still, it’s all a pipe dream until CSCO can prove the speeds in real-world application. An “I’ll believe it when I see it” approach from businesses and investors is the right one.

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