By Jill Ralph. As home buyers continue to keep pace with the ever-changing -- and advancing -- technological world, home builders must keep up with the demands of such tech-hip consumers. The area of home networking may be leading the charge. As work is contracted out and companies try to reduce office space (and associated costs), telecommuting is gaining momentum.

For technology companies serving home networkers, business is being driven by demand in the home-buying market. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) conducted a survey of households equipped with home networking and found that to keep pace with consumer demand, home builders must be ready to offer networked homes -- and communities.

Networked Neighbors

Of respondents to the CEA survey:
? 93 percent use home networking to share printer resources;
? 70 percent use home networking to share a single Internet access point.
The findings show that in the future:
? 39 percent want the Internet to monitor their homes;

? 36 percent want e-mail at work to warn of special home deliveries or children arriving home;

? 55 percent want warnings when appliances are left on;
? 55 percent want automated adjustments of water heaters and thermostats when no one is home.
Source: Consumer Electronics Association