Verizon Says Home Market is Primed for 'Smart,' Built-In Home Networking

LAS VEGAS -- Growth of consumer awareness over the past few years and the increasing availability of broadband connectivity have converged to put wired in-home networks on consumers' new home wish list.

Home buyers are now thinking about the information technology that is going into their new homes, and are demanding home networking solutions like Verizon Ready as a standard when they build, according to Bob Burich, president of Verizon Connected Solutions, speaking today at the 2002 Consumer Electronics Show.

Verizon Connected Solutions, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications, designs and installs broadband home networking. Its premier product, Verizon Ready, allows families to connect and harness all their computer, video, entertainment, security and communications devices across one integrated network.

"For the first time consumers are applying the same level of interest to home networking that they give to other key components of the home," he said. "They're asking what technology is going into their single largest investment, how it can make their lives easier and who is going to answer their technology questions today and tomorrow," said Burich.

"They see the need to bring all the power of the nationwide telecommunications network right into their homes."

Participating in the CES conference's Home Networking SuperSession, Burich cited several key indicators that home networking has arrived as standard infrastructure for the home and is here to stay:

  • By 2004, nine out of ten new homes will be built with "structured wiring" -- wiring capable of delivering data, entertainment and security services throughout the home.
  • Home networking will increase tenfold over the next four years.
  • Residential broadband penetration will grow 300 percent by 2003 over 2000 levels.
  • Some 10.7 million of the nation's households now have broadband Internet access versus 5.6 million homes a year ago.
  • Fifty percent of DSL households have multiple computers.
  • Nearly 29 million Americans telecommuted in 2001.
  • Home networking penetration already exceeds 25 percent of the new home market in certain key markets such as metropolitan Washington, D.C.

Burich said that success in the home networking market depends on the ability to offer an affordable product that is flexible enough to take advantage of the broadband services that are increasingly available today, as well as the new technologies and applications that will be available in the future.

"Access to information and the latest technology are essential in American society today. Every home should have broadband connectivity," said Burich.

Another key component of success in the home networking market is knowledgeable, consultative selling, he said. Suppliers must be able to answer technology questions and supply customized solutions for the individual homeowner and the national homebuilder. "Just building wires into the walls is not enough," Burich said "The ability to be a one-stop shop for the builder and the home buyer is essential to success as a supplier of home networking infrastructure."

To provide one-stop shopping, suppliers must have the size, stability and the support infrastructure to offer a wide variety of services, technical support and quick response to the needs of a single job as well as the 5,000-unit development.

"One of the advantages that Verizon Connected Solutions brings to the market is our ability to bundle all the Verizon communications services and Verizon's DSL service with Verizon Ready," said Burich. "At the same time home buyers are choosing where to place Verizon Ready's home network outlets they can order their DSL line, their additional phone lines and their other communications products like Home Voice Mail and Caller ID -- all through a single point of contact, the Verizon Ready representative."

"Selling a complete solution to the homeowner through enlightened builders is feeding the growth in the home networking industry and helping American families realize the full potential of modern communications," Burich said.

The Verizon Ready system integrates a flexible and expandable home network device or residential gateway with advanced communications wiring and cables. The gateway is the central connection for distributing services within a home, such as networking computers to share fax lines, dial-up or broadband Internet access, printers and other devices. The system's high-speed cables are connected to multi-port, multimedia outlets that can handle broadband video and high-speed data. Most importantly, as the needs of the family change, the Verizon Ready system's modular configuration allows the homeowner to easily rearrange the distribution of services from room to room or within rooms.

Verizon Connected Solutions specializes in the design and installation of premises-based communications products and services for voice, data, video, audio and interactive multi-media applications for consumers and businesses. The company is based in Beltsville, Md., a suburb of Washington, D.C., and is an ISO 9001 registered company. For more information, visit the Verizon Connected Solutions Web site at www.verizoncsi.com or call 1-888-947-3782 (1-888-WIRE-SVC).

Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 128.5 million access line equivalents and 28.7 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with 256,000 employees and approximately $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.