Personal Networking in the Home: Opportunities and Challenges (1999)

By David Benham, Cisco Systems

The New World network will combine Internet data, phone and video services over a single cable line, fundamentally changing the way communication, entertainment/news, education and commerce services, as well as many other services we are only beginning to imagine, are delivered to consumers. At the same time, many new types of Internet enabled consumer appliances will be used in and out of the home. These will range from web -phones to handheld and counter-top devices based on highly customizable thin and very-thin client architectures where the client's intelligence is derived from the network.

Thus, this New World network build-out represents the first major deployment of phone services over an Internet protocol (IP)-based infrastructure, using cable lines as the transmission vehicle.

At same time, this build-out will also need to be able to host a new type of 'personalized network' for the home, a sort of a plug-and-play local area network, connecting PCs, web-phones, TVs and other consumer Internet appliances. These personal networks begin to lay the groundwork for turning the Internet into the next mass medium, eventually connecting anyone to anything.

This paper will describe the potential revenue opportunities, survey the home area network connectivity options, and discuss what the technical and operational challenges will be for the service provider.

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