The number of U.S. home offices accessing the Internet will skyrocket from 19.7 million in 1999 to 30.2 million by 2002, according to a report from International Data Corporation (IDC), Framingham, Mass., a market research firm specializing in information technology. During that same time, home offices' annual spending for Internet access will jump from $6.5 billion to $10.5 billion. According to IDC, the increase of Internet use in home offices is a direct result of the expanding home-office population, , which is expected to near 50 million by 2002 Also adding to the increase is a jump in the number of home offices with PCs, which will approach 38 million in 2002. The types of activities home offices are performing online will require an increasing amount of bandwidth and incite fierce competition among those who can provide quick access. "The availability of high-speed Internet access is of special interest to home-office households," says Raymond Boggs, director of Home Office Market research at IDC. "The applications they are most interested in, such as remote accessing of corporate data, collaborative working, and file sharing, are all bandwidth intensive." For the near term, IDC expects home offices seeking greater bandwidth to turn to 56K modems and ISDN. "Today, 56K modems, which use ordinary phone lines, are the norm on new PCs and are generating interest among those with older modems looking to upgrade," says Boggs. "Users find these modems attractive because they offer a higher speed than previous modem generations. However, they are much slower than broadband solutions. While ISDN was the first broadband solution to reach consumers, it is just now starting to generate interest in home offices. However, it is a relatively high-cost solution for home offices, and it can't match the speed offered by the newer alternatives, cable modems and ADSL."