Wednesday, August 01, 2001

Broadband Market Presents Challenges, Opportunities

Of the 30 million U.S. households predicted to have broadband service by 2004, 17 million will have a home network—a huge potential market that presents new opportunities and unique challenges to service providers, says a report by Parks Associates, Dallas, Texas, a market research firm specializing in emerging technologies and services for the home.

Initial data from the report, The Broadband Networked Home: Profiles of an Emerging Market, indicates that this consumer segment already places strong emphasis on product reliability and interoperability. Specifically, analysts say, most consumers in a household with a broadband network are inclined to endorse reliability over price; so a service provider and its products must inspire confidence to be successful even if it means a slightly higher price tag.

In addition, people in this segment would rather install the product themselves than pay a professional, which should help keep costs down in what is expected to be a highly competitive market, analysts say.

“Being unaware of what consumers consider important will significantly undermine a service provider’s ability to sell not only broadband and home-networking technology but the next generation of value-added services,” says Michael Greeson, senior analyst with Parks Associates. “Too often, residential service providers proceed with a very limited awareness of what the consumer actually wants. This should not be happening, especially since residential broadband consumers have a very clear idea of what services they would like to see from providers and how much they are willing to pay for those services.”

From the article "Broadband Market Presents Challenges, Opportunities," by Lacey Stark

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