Just An Online Minute... Cable Modem to Go, Please
When anyone asks for a recommendation for always-on, super-fast broadband service my answer is always: "Why a cable modem, of course." In my case, the service is provided by Time Warner, which is my provider for basic cable service. At the time of my order, Time Warner threw EarthLink into the package. I never use it. Frankly, I would have preferred to have had AOL as a ride-along. It's sad but I don't use AOL anymore. I do use AOL Instant Messenger and I love it. It's helpful to me at work.
According to market research firm IDC, the global base of cable modem subscribers will more than double between 2003 and 2008, going from 32.8 million to 69.4 million.
IDC finds that in the United States, cable remains the top choice for broadband, with nearly 50 percent more subscribers than DSL. The majority of U.S. cable customers are residential users, but IDC projects nearly 2.5 million business cable modem subscribers by 2008.
IDC points out that on a global basis, DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) service is consumers' top broadband choice. Visant Strategies projects that by the end of the decade, wireless broadband services will join DSL and cable in a pitched three-way fight for market share. By 2009, Visant analysts project that wireless broadband will grow faster than the other technologies due to improved relationships between fixed wireless systems and mobile IP-based solutions. The growth of so-called Wi-Fi hotspots is also helping fuel the momentum for wireless broadband.
To be sure, people love their Wi-Fi hotspots even if they hate paying extra for them. When I attend a trade show or conference, my first question is: "Do you have a Wi-Fi hotspot?" At hotels, the charge can be as high as $11.95 per 24-hour period. Wayport, a Wi-Fi provider aimed at travelers that owns a network of hot spots across the country, has charged me $9.95 a day. But when you're on a deadline (all the time) there is simply no way around it. No one gives away Wi-Fi access for free, but if you find a spot, let me know.
My top pick for Wi-Fi access? Thus far, I have to say it was at Microsoft's conference facility. It was also free, of course.