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Home Gateways: A Consumers all-in-one Network to Broadband

in Broadband's Impact/Expert Opinion by
Digital Living Network Alliance
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Now that the broadband experience is reaching a milestone in bridging the gap between digital content and consumers, we all may soon be accessing our Home Gateways to maximize the experience of downloading and viewing relevant content on TV’s, PC’s, Laptop’s, DVR’s, and Mobile Devices.

The term Residential Gateway is not new and has been used in VoIP, and DSL applications by the Telecoms. Corporations have long been using Gateways for application connections. So, it makes plenty of sense to have one (in-home device) to act as a digital storage system, server, modem, and router to connect consumers with all of the broadband related devices, and content becoming widely available from a multitude of Internet sources.

Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC), and Cox Communications are partnering with The Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA Certified device), to bring consumers a more integrated home network device to play back premium content HD/digital shows, photo slideshows, and music offerings for their customers. This Home Gateway device would work seamlessly with all consumer devices within the home to connect content to the TV.

NetGear (Nasdaqgm: NTGR), is introducing such devices at the Consumer Electronics Show with its award winning NETGEAR Stora , putting music, video, and photos at your fingertips, and the NETGEAR Wireless-N Router with DSL Modem - Mobile Broadband Edition, to connect wireless devices with content.

Home Gateways are the next generation of devices to offer universal access and in-home-networking to speed along the delivery of broadband seamlessly within the home. Having a Broadband Pipeline which is Hybrid/Fiber/Docsis3 enabled, or a Fiber-To-the-Home connection, via your ISP to the Home Gateway will be the critical to the adoption process. This all-in-one device would be able to handle all the functions universally which are now separated like modems, Set-Top-Boxes, WIFI, routers, home networking, Blu-Ray Players, gaming, etc…

In essence, the Home Gateway will be the device that will connect families to entertainment, education, healthcare, security, communications, and a global world of information. This scenario may not be quite here yet, but the Consumer Electronics Industry and Cable-Telecom companies are certainly moving in that direction. The bottom line will be consumer costs of these devices and the deciding factor in its proliferation for a near-term broadband solution, rather than a long-term one.

Len Grace is a technology industry veteran with over 18 years experience with Comcast Corporation. His insights into pertinent and relevant issues within the Broadband/Telecom/Cable/Wireless and Mobile sectors both inform and enlighten readers on current industry trends, analysis, business strategy, competitive landscape and legislative agendas. Len is the founder & editor of The Cable Pipeline, a technology blog who contributes to various technology websites including Light Reading, (Expert Opinion), SiliconAngle, Cisco Community: Service Provider Mobility, Amdocs: InTouch Community Portal, Bloomberg's bx Business Exchange, CircleID, and Sys-Con Media/Utilizer. Also see his reporting.

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