RealTime IT News

Lucent To Equip New Homes With Futuristic Network

Lucent Technologies has signed contracts worth more than $22 million to equip several residential communities now under construction with an advanced communications network that will offer a variety of high-tech services.

Dubbed The HomeStar Wiring System, the network will offer voice, video and high-speed data services. Construction is underway on 55,000 homes in Las Vegas, Gilbert, Ariz. and Miramar, Fla. that will be hooked up to the new system.

The new homes outfitted with HomeStar will be able to support various networking applications including telecommuting, distance learning, interactive entertainment and learning systems, electronic shopping and banking, child monitoring, security alert and home health monitoring.

Homeowners will be able to control and manage a variety of communication systems, such as phone, fax, and e-mail; entertainment systems including whole-house stereo, VCR, cable, satellite and digital television; home office equipment, video surveillance systems and environmental management systems.

Community residents will be able to surf the Internet at the fastest possible speeds, talk to neighbors over an "electronic fence" using the community intranet, view visitors at the front door by changing the channel on the television set or picking up the telephone.

According to Lucent, analysts forecast consumer sales of home technology systems and products will surge from $2 billion in 1998 to $27 billion by 2005, with the Internet playing a significant role as a contributing factor.

"Demand for technology in homes today is staggering. You need only look at the number of people using the Internet today compared to just a few years ago to see that consumer's needs are rapidly changing," said Drew Brown, president of DMB Properties.

"You simply can't build a home today with traditional phone jacks, cable ports and electrical systems and think that home will adequately serve the needs of its owners in the coming years. In just a few short years, the home will simply be outdated and won't hold its value," Brown said.