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Survey cites bandwidth, convergence as top issues

by Tom Diederich

SAN FRANCISCO (IDG) -- As the Internet's "next generation" comes of age, the most important issues facing IT and telecommunications companies concern bandwidth and the merging of voice and data traffic, according to a new Frost & Sullivan survey.

Somewhat surprisingly, of the approximately 100 executives polled at Frost & Sullivan's Next Generation Internet Conference here, only 18 percent listed security as their No. 1 Internet-related concern for the future.

Deregulating international markets and pornography and censorship issues drew 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

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As for ways to solve bandwidth demands, 30 percent said the future lies in Digital Subscriber Line technology; 20 percent said wireless technology was the best road to follow; and 18 percent cited satellite connections. Fiber-optic and cable modems lagged, at 17 percent and 15 percent, respectively, according to the survey.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Frost & Sullivan said the survey also found that 38 percent of the executives polled believe the Net will "revolutionize the way business is conducted"; 35 percent said the medium would converge with other media and delivery mechanisms such as TV and radio; and a quarter said the Internet would evolve to serve different needs than other media and delivery mechanisms.

Finally, the survey respondents said the disciplines that will reap the most benefits from the next-generation Internet are education (31 percent), health care (25 percent), manufacturing (14 percent) and basic science and federal information services (14 percent).

Crisis management and the environment at 10 percent and 8 percent, respectively, trailed the list.

Tom Diederich is a reporter for Computerworld online.

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