IBM survey: land lines to disappear, mobile broadband to explode over next decade

The Federal Communications Commission's National Broadband Plan has caught the attention of every telecommunications, digital media and technology firm.

As the business world waits for the plan to be released next month, many are speculating about what it will include and how they should react.

IBM surveyed 8,000 consumers and 60 telecom company executives to get a sense of Internet-related trends over the next decade, showing that broadband will continue to evolve and expand while traditional communications infrastructure--those copper lines we've used to make phone calls for decades--will rapidly disappear.

IBM predicts that the use of land lines will decrease by 95 percent in the next five to 10 years. Conversely, usage of mobile and wireless broadband will increase by 98 percent during the same period.

The company also found that consumers will demand open platforms, where they can access content on all types of devices. In fact, 70 percent of those surveyed said they want to access content on any device-- a computer, TV, phone or netbook--from any provider.

Interestingly, IBM found that 65 percent of consumers expect their telecom provider to maintain their role as simply providing Internet and wireless services. Only one in five consumers expect telecom providers to have a role in the retail and delivery of online content services. (Hmmm...we wonder what that says about the proposed Comcast-NBC merger?)

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