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Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

March 15, 2006 at 11:04 AM

The third man

When choosing broadband Internet access for the home, you’re lucky if you have both DSL and cable as options.

But there soon may a third option developing, according to ABI Research.

In 2005, the researcher said only about 1,500 square miles worldwide would be covered by Wi-Fi. Now, it’s predicting that by 2010, that figure will increase to 126,000 square miles — an area slightly larger than Poland, or New Mexico. The bulk is expected to be deployed in North America and the Asia-Pacific region, the research group said.

ABI said four significant trends are leading these roll-outs:

— Local governments want to deploy municipal broadband networks.

— Internet service providers see it as a way to compete with other service providers.

— Wireless is a cost-effective means of providing broadband access to underserved areas.

— Wireless can serve as a tool for cable operators.

What technology these deployments will use is still up in the air, the group found. It is unknown how the developing WiMax standard will be accepted.

A summary of the report can be found here.

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