Consumers Want to Join Home Nets

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Chicago— Home networks are attracting an increasing number of personal-computer owners, according to a consumer poll released last week by the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing.

Twenty-three percent of PC users who aren't connected to multiple PCs or other electronic equipment are interested in such a link, according to the May/June issue of the CTAM Pulse. Of those, 12 percent said they would "definitely" get a home network and another 27 percent said they would "probably" get one.

The majority of home-networking prospects (69 percent) prefer to own rather than lease their equipment, the survey said. And 27 percent said existing cable lines were the preferred way to access a home network, overshadowing wireless frequencies, electrical outlets or existing phone lines.

In addition to allowing households to share information files among multiple PCs, home networks will allow for new services, such as home security and energy monitoring.

Of PC owners who currently have home networks, 79 percent are satisfied with their systems, CTAM said. About 10 percent of PC owners employ some form of home networking. Telecommuters and households with relatively high incomes are among those more likely to have a home network, the study said.

The study surveyed 892 PC owners in a random sample. The telephone calls were conducted last month by CENTRIS (Communications, Entertainment and Technology Research and Information Service). Among the sample were cable customers, satellite subscribers and high-speed Internet users.

CTAM also said Sunday that Weather Channel CEO Decker Anstrom will address the class of CTAM U this week at Harvard Business School. Anstrom will give this year's Dan Aaron Lecture for Innovative Management.

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