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Report: Home is Where the High-Speed Is

The information superhighway's speed limit will soon be raised as high-speed Internet access makes its way to homes across the United States, according to a recent report.

The Forrester Research study predicted that 16 million U.S. households--a quarter of all online homes--will use broadband connections to the Internet by 2002.

These connections will change the way consumers use the Internet and create new opportunities for service and content providers, according to Forrester, bringing fast download speeds, always-on connections, and more bandwidth for applications.

"Once consumers get a taste of high-speed Internet access at home, they'll never go back to dial-up," said Christopher Mines, director of Forrester's People & Technology Strategies service and author of the Report, "Broadband Hits Home."

"Broadband will alter the Internet landscape, changing customers' use and experience of online resources and forcing service providers to sharpen their broadband strategies."

The report predicted cable companies will be the leading provider of residential broadband services, capturing more than 80% of the market by 2002, while local telephone companies will serve the remaining 20% with digital subscriber lines.

Held back by competing technologies, a lack of standards, and high equipment costs, the report predicted that the telcos will be slow to roll out their broadband offerings, while consumers will be disappointed by the initial price/performance ratio and service limitations.

Broadband technology is predicted to improve download times, allow for clearer audio and video outputs, and alleviate the World Wide Wait.