Consumers Report Digital Home Challenges in Large Numbers

On-site and remote home technology support services will grow in response to home computer and network problems

On -site and remote home technology support services will grow in response to home computer and network problems


As the digital home creates new technical challenges, more consumers will turn to professional on -site or remote support services for help with their home technology problems, according to Parks Associates' Managing the Digital Home: Installation and Support Services.

This survey of more than 6,000 U.S. and Canadian home Internet users found that in the past 12 months, over 41 million U.S. users had problems associated with Internet security, over 21 million had home computer hardware and software issues, and nearly 11 million had problems with a home network. While most consumers are personally solving the issue or relying on a friend or family member, more than 60% express interest in software that automates basic home computer maintenance functions, and one -third are interested in subscription -based technical support and troubleshooting services.

"Digital technologies such as broadband, home networks, consumer electronics, and PCs provide great benefits to users and significant challenges to the companies supporting their distribution," said Kurt Scherf, vice president and principal analyst for Parks Associates. "As the average household uses more digital services and products, there will be substantial risk to the bottom line for both service providers and manufacturers as their technical support costs escalate."

There are also revenue opportunities, according to Scherf. Current consumer spending for additional warranties and accident protection contracts on new electronics and computer products, in addition to more positive responses to preventative maintenance, monitoring, and troubleshooting services, demonstrates a consumer willingness to pay for peace -of -mind and how -to services for their home technology products.

"Consumers want access to trusted third -party providers of information, support, and how -to services when it comes to their digital home products and services," Scherf said. "Whether the service comes at no charge as part of an existing broadband contract or is provided as a monthly subscription or one -off service call, there is substantial interest for services and solutions that help end users better manage their digital home environment."

Managing the Digital Home: Installation and Support Services is a survey of 6,116 U.S. and Canadian home Internet users. The study focuses specifically on the acquisition and use of communications and entertainment services, product ownership and new product purchases, and the role of specific technologies - the Internet, home computers, and home networks - as they relate to potential problems. For more information about this study, please contact Parks Associates at 972 -490 -1113 or sales@parksassociates.com or visit http://www.parksassociates.com.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates is a market research and consulting firm focused on all product and service segments that are "digital" or provide connectivity within the home. The company's expertise includes home networks, digital entertainment, consumer electronics, broadband and Internet services, and home systems.

Founded in 1986, Parks Associates creates research capital for companies ranging from Fortune 500 to small start -ups through market reports, multiclient studies, consumer research, workshops, and custom -tailored client solutions. Parks Associates also hosts several fall events and co -hosts CONNECTIONS™ (in partnership with the Consumer Electronics Association) each year. www.parksassociates.com

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