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Inevitably, where we're all heading with this is toward the fully wired home. Many envision this home of the not-too-distant future as using some kind of high-speed wiring to centralize all entertainment, phone, utilities and PC networking in a single location.

IBM recently offered a glimpse of what may be to come. It announced the availability of Home Director, a new home networking solution that promises to deliver a home network controlled from a PC or TV screen, which will integrate the primary functions of most household systems, including security, lighting, heating and network-enabled PCs and peripherals. The IBM Home Director system (pricing varies) utilizes what's called the Home Network Controller to manage your home network, and the IBM Home Network Connection Center to centralize and facilitate communication between the various components. Although it's primarily targeted at the new home construction market, IBM says its Home Director can be retrofitted into most existing homes.

Clearly, we're on the cusp of something revolutionary, not only for home offices but for homeowners in general. And homebased businesses could be the first to put new home networking technologies to the test. That means fair amounts of patience, education and flexibility are required to best utilize these new home networking solutions. That also means home offices, as usual, are at the forefront of new business and technology trends--and they're expected to maintain their position well ahead of the pack.

FYI For more information on home networking, check out these sources on the Web:

The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance's Web site (www.phonelan.org) contains an explanation of technical standards and equipment necessary for setting up a home phone-line network.

Intel's white paper, Emerging Trends in Home Computing (www.intel.com/home/network), offers insight into the benefits of home networking, current barriers and a look at tomorrow's wired home.

Visit http://www.3Com.com/home for more information on existing home networking options, 3Com products and more.

Contact Source

Confidential Business Services, 10109 Tiburon Dr., Florence KY 41402, (606) 371-3177.

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