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Companies Form Home Networking Alliance

A group of leading high-tech companies and consumer businesses have forged what they call an "open alliance" that will be dedicated to home networking technology.Called the Internet Home Alliance, the...

January 1, 2001  

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A group of leading high-tech companies and consumer businesses have forged what they call an “open alliance” that will be dedicated to home networking technology.

Called the Internet Home Alliance, the group — formed by Cisco Systems, 3Com, Sun Microsystems, Honeywell, Best Buy, General Motors and others — aims to increase consumers’ understanding and adoption of what it calls “the Internet lifestyle.”

This “Internet lifestyle”, according to the Alliance, centres around adopting Internet solutions that enhance the quality of life. It involves a variety of products and services — from energy and security monitoring to simultaneous Internet access from multiple PCs or Internet appliances — aimed to bring a multitude of benefits to consumers.

The goal of the Alliance is to work together to serve as a sort of umbrella organization for home networking and to develop what it calls the “ecosystem” needed to support the delivery of solutions and educate consumers on the benefits.

“This Alliance is about making it easier for consumers to realize the benefits of the Internet lifestyle,” said Bill Kenney, president of the Alliance and VP of strategy, home and online services at Sears Roebuck. “We are approaching the industry from the consumer perspective and we will work together to give consumers confidence when choosing Internet lifestyle solutions.”

The Alliance says that currently more than 50 per cent of homes in America have PCs, but only a fraction have adopted internet-enabled devices. It says the stumbling blocks affecting the adoption rate of these devices include market fragmentation, consumer and industry confusion, and the availability and complexity of home technology solutions. The Alliance aims to work with industry associations and others to further the creation, distribution and acceptance of such technologies and services.

Other members of the alliance include Sears Roebuck, CompUSA, Invensys, Motorola, New Power Company, and Panasonic, Reliant Energy and Texas Instruments.

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