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Network? What Network?

I heard a statistic today that the return rate of home networking equipment in North America is 25%-30% at retail. Most often there is “no problem found,” but consumers return the equipment anyway. Home networking is still too complicated for people to deal with, and apparently the convenience of wireless access in the home isn’t enough incentive to get people over the hurdle.

Interestingly, I think the sweet spot for wireless home networking was probably three or four years ago, before there were so many public hotspots and reasonable cellular Internet access. As much as people want to be connected today, they have other ways of getting there besides setting up their own wireless networks. Operators are learning from this as they roll out networked video services in the home. Using technologies like MoCA or HPNA means consumers don’t even have to be aware that a network exists. The service just gives them what they want: access to content from any room.

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