According to a report by IT research company Datamonitor, cable modems will be the most prominent technology used to access the Internet by the year 2000.
By then, says the report, there will be around 30 million European households accessing it. The report suggests that broadband access will "slowly replace" narrow band counterparts with cable modems will becoming the norm by the "end of the century".
But modem manufacturers need not despair, the report goes on to say there is still "significant room for development" of narrow band technologies - including ISDN.
Datamonitor steers away from scathing remarks about ISDN and the relative expense of installing the technology, but does suggest that "ISDN will be undermined by 56 kbit/s modems, which, for the average consumer, will probably appear no slower than a single ISDN channel."
The advent of ADSL (Asynchronous Digital Subscriber Loop) technology was also mentioned in the report as being the probable second choice for Internet access in the new Millennium. DataMonitor used the US as a paradigm for the growth of cable modems which are already a hot technology, but has ADSL catching up fast.
Mike Valiant, spokesman for US Robotics agrees with Datamonitor's predictions for cable, but is more confident about the role ADSL will be playing in the coming three years. He said: "Everyone with a phone has copper wire in their homes (ADSL uses copper wire) and it has a potential downstream of between 1.5-8Mb/sec. I think ADSL will be more pervasive than cable by the year 2000."
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