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More Than Half of U.S. Consumers Regard Internet Service as Most Important Utility in the Home, According to New Verizon Survey

More than half (52 percent) of all U.S. consumers surveyed say Internet service is their home's most important utility, according to the first in a series of tech consumer research surveys, called the Verizon FiOS Innovation Index: Borderless Lifestyle Survey.  And if you  have an Internet-connectable device with you at all times whenever you leave your home, there is a good chance that you are one of the nearly 40  percent of Americans that the Index identified as "borderless consumers."

The Borderless Lifestyle

Verizon believes the Borderless Lifestyle is a result of the convergence of wired and wireless broadband networks, and the unique user flexibility and personal empowerment that converged services enable.  The Borderless Lifestyle is about eliminating the old technology boundaries that used to separate networks and service platforms, home and work, allowing customers to connect and accomplish what they want or need to do, whenever they wish, wherever they are, using the device that they prefer.

"As the borderless consumer segment continues to grow, so will the need to identify, understand and anticipate what consumers truly want in their increasingly connected lives - today and in the future," said Eric Bruno, vice president of FiOS strategy and development for Verizon. 

Home is the Hub of Digital Life

The FiOS Innovation Index found that while borderless consumers are well-equipped for anytime, anywhere online engagement, their digital activities - communication, entertainment and commerce - still revolve around their physical home.

The Index will periodically examine trends in connectivity, device adoption and user experiences that are shaping consumers' lives and driving innovation in the connected media and services industries.  The index will provide insights into large-scale trends for adults living in the U.S. and explore how they are using advances in technology and innovation to live a life more connected and without borders.

Who are Borderless Consumers?

Borderless consumers are found in every ethnic and age group - from millennials to generation X, baby boomers and the mature generation - though 18-to-34 year-olds constitute the greatest number of borderless consumers.  Many are college educated, own their home, and nearly half of them earn $75,000 or more annually.

If you are also motivated to make technology and connectivity upgrades, and are interested in enjoying the benefits of a digital smart home, you are definitely among the 39 percent of U.S. adults that are living the Borderless Lifestyle.

The study also found that women (53 percent) outnumber men (47 percent) in the borderless consumer segment.

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Notable Trends

According to the FiOS Innovation Index, 82 percent of borderless consumers are interested in using network services like cloud-based data storage to access to their data files using any device, from any location, at any time.

The vast majority (90 percent) look forward to the day when every connectable device in their house can seamlessly interconnect and work together - via their in-home network or online.

All borderless consumers (100 percent) share a common motivation to make technology and connectivity upgrades to enjoy the full benefits of boundary-free living.

The Index also indicates that regardless of whether or not an individual is a borderless consumer, more than half of all survey respondents combined (60 percent of borderless consumers and 46 percent of non-borderless consumers) considered their wired Internet service to be the most important utility in their home.

All Consumers Still Love Watching Live TV

While over-the-top (OTT) video consumption continues to drive Internet traffic growth, its use varies among viewers, depending on their content appetite.  While streaming video is primarily adopted by 18- to 34-year-olds across all types of content, the majority of all borderless consumers (89 percent) - and non-borderless consumers (90 percent) - still prefer watching shows on their TVs, according to the survey.

"The broadening appeal of anywhere, anytime connectivity is blurring the boundaries that used to separate the home from everywhere else we go every day, and the Borderless Lifestyle Survey offers clear evidence of that," said Ruchir Rodrigues, vice president of technology for Verizon.

"Between smartphones, tablets, laptop and desktop computers, and connected TVs and game consoles, consumers want the benefits, convenience and intuitiveness of a connected life and smart home," Rodrigues said.  "This presents a huge innovation opportunity to the technology community as we all pursue the development of new products, apps and services that expand and enrich our borderless lifestyle experience."

The Verizon FiOS Innovation Index: Borderless Lifestyle Survey was conducted in the U.S. on behalf of Verizon by Harris Interactive on Sept. 7-11 and polled 2,292 adults aged 18 and over.  The online survey was not based on a probability sample and therefore cannot be used as an assessment of the general population; nor can a theoretical sampling error be calculated.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ), headquartered in New York, is a global leader in delivering broadband and other wireless and wireline communications services to consumer, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, with nearly 96 million retail customers nationwide.  Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America's most advanced fiber-optic network, and delivers integrated business solutions to customers in more than 150 countries, including all of the Fortune 500.  A Dow 30 company with $111 billion in 2011 revenues, Verizon employs a diverse workforce of 184,500.  For more information, visit