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service accounts (approximately 11.3 million as of late-1995) overstates the number of households (Arlen, 1995b,c; 1996). By contrast, note that the increase between 1993 and 1994 in pager subscriptions was about 7 million (Wireless Messaging Report, 1995c).
See Corcoran (1995a), New York Times (1995), Singletary (1995), Rohde (1995a), Report on Electronic Commerce (1995a), Hansell (1995a), and O'Brien (1995). According to Citibank's advertising flyer for this service, there is a "free" 800-number modem line; customers can move money between accounts, check balances, check whether checks have cleared, pay bills, and obtain stock quotes without charge. Citibank has reported some 100,000 subscribers through the third quarter of 1995 (see Arlen, 1995b).
The concern here is with the business relationship; from a technical point of view, it is reasonable and even desirable for the credit card protocols not to be bound to a particular communications solution (i.e., a particular type of communications technology and therefore a particular class of provider).
See Booker (1995a) and Sullivan-Trainor (1995).
Perhaps because of difficulties guaranteeing cost recovery, they conclude that cable-delivered interactive services will be a choice available to only about 2.5 million households by 1998, but will accelerate and reach 40 million households by 2005.
While there is much discussion about interactive television (broadcast and cable), that alternative is not likely to rival services delivered via PCs between now and the year 2000. However, whereas with cable the providers make investments and spread costs among subscribers, with direct broadcast satellite (DBS) consumers bear substantial capital costs up front. Market research data suggest that consumers spent between $0.5 and $1 billion on digital DBS receivers in their first year of availability (Communications Daily, 1995d). This compares to a total U.S. business local-area network investment of approximately $5 billion (see Chapter 5 section, "Data Communications"). See Markoff (1994), Landler (1995), and Shenon (1995).
Some argue, however, that relatively modest levels of capability may be sufficient to support basic access; this is part of the argument behind the case for universal access to electronic mail as a first step in broader universal information infrastructure access (see, for example, Anderson et al., 1995).
As discussed at the January workshop, whether set-top boxes should continue to be leased or be made available for purchase is a matter of debate within the cable industry.