The State of the Structured Wiring Market

More homeowners are “future proofing” their homes with structured wiring products, which integrate voice, data, and video services into a central distribution center or hub. Cahners In-Stat Group, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based high-tech market research firm, found that the increased penetration of broadband Internet access, expansion of PCs into the home, and the growing need for entertainment and residential wiring will create a structured wiring market that could top $1.4 billion by 2004.

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Research Center report that 42% of new homes were built with structured wiring in 2002. Their study, titled “State of the Builder Technology Market,” discusses the importance of consumer technologies in the construction and marketing of new homes. They found that structured wiring is the most widely incorporated technology in new homes, but broadband and home offices are also becoming increasingly popular.

Through their research, they also discovered that luxury homes are often equipped with more home technologies than starter homes. The gap narrows in the structured wiring category, however, where seven out of 10 starter homes and nine out of 10 luxury homes are equipped with structured wiring. New homes are also more likely than existing homes to offer structured wiring and broadband.

To remain competitive in the building market, more builders are installing higher-grade cabling like Cat. 5 and RG-6 in new homes. About 75% of builders use electrical contractors or security installers to install structured wiring. Builders' level of satisfaction with system integrators and custom installers is about the same as with electrical contractors and security installers. If contractors want to differentiate themselves from the competition, they need to offer a low price and gain a solid reputation in the industry, according to the survey. The tables to the right illustrate the results of the inaugural home technology survey by CEA and NAHB.