Consumers Adopt Home Networks to Keep up with the Joneses

As the popularity of home networking in the U.S. increases, the demographics of those using the technology are evolving, according to a recent survey conducted by In-Stat/MDR ( The high-tech research firm found evidence of increased interest in home networking by nearly all segments of the population, refuting the common perception that their usage is restricted to tech-savvy, early adopters.
“The surge in wireless networking equipment sales, and the availability of low cost home routers to enable broadband
sharing shows that this technology is indeed gaining wider acceptance,” says Jaclynn Bumback, an Analyst with In-
Stat/MDR. In-Stat/MDR believes the total percentage of owners who would purchase and install a home network would
be higher if they were educated about the benefits. The vendor community has begun, both individually and
collectively (through such efforts as the Internet Home Alliance), to educate end-users about the benefits of home
networking and broadband. “While we can point to a number of demand drivers, including wider availability of low-cost
and easy-to-use networking gear and increased awareness of end-users, perhaps the best way to understand the increased
interest is to examine what end-users are using their home networks for.” In-Stat/MDR’s survey found the following:
– 42% of those with home networks pointed to broadband as the primary application. With the number of
broadband users in the U.S. growing to approximately 13 million by the end of 2001, the home networking
industry has benefited greatly. This is indicative in the strong end-use demand for affordable broadband
sharing devices from the likes of vendors such as Linksys and NetGear. These two vendors alone shipped
over 2 million cable/DSL routers in 2001.
– The 45-54 age bracket has become the largest segment of the home network owner population as they react to
the needs of their tech-savvy late-teen children and home networking products become easier to install and
manage. The segment accounts for 28% of all home networked households in the U.S.
– Of the respondents planning to purchase a home network, 41% plan to purchase from a retailer. This is
a key opportunity for vendors such as Linksys, D-Link, and NetGear with strong retail presence. 37% do not
know where they plan to purchase their home network. This indecisiveness indicates a lack of loyalty to any
particular channel other than retail.
The report, “Networking The Joneses: Examining End-User Adoption of Home Networks” (#IN020235RC), examines end-use
adoption and usage patterns for home network and non-home network owners, focusing specifically on the purchase
decisions and usage related to home network ownership. The cross relationship between home network installation and
sale of other technology products and services is examined. To purchase this report, or for more information, please
visit: or contact Matthew Woods at 617.630.2139;
The report price is $2,495 USD.