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Cisco joins chorus against Obama's net neutrality plan

Stephen Lawson | Nov. 14, 2014
President Barack Obama's call for ISPs to be regulated like traditional telecommunications carriers continued to send shockwaves through the Internet industry on Wednesday as the head of Cisco Systems warned that the idea could hurt his company's business.

Cisco's business among service providers, a major part of the networking giant's customer base, has had several rough quarters recently. The reasons are more complex than just carriers holding off on network spending: Weakness in the set-top box business, where orders fell again last quarter, is one major factor. Chambers has cited multiple reasons for declines in the service-provider business, including consolidation among service providers that has resulted in fewer, but larger, potential customers.

There was good news for Cisco in the quarter as well, as orders for the company's switching products rose 3 percent after three quarters of declines. Overall, the company saw revenue rise just 1.3 percent from a year earlier and earnings per share decline by 5.4 percent. Times remained hard for Cisco in major emerging markets, especially China, where product orders were down 33 percent from a year earlier.

During the quarter, the company took a $188 million charge involving the settlement of a patent lawsuit by the Rockstar Consortium, a group of companies that acquired key intellectual property from the former Nortel Networks.

Also on Wednesday, Cisco announced that CFO Frank Calderoni will leave the company at the end of this year. Kelly Kramer, [cq] a former General Electric executive who has held financial roles at Cisco for three years, will take his place.

 

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