Felix Dieter is a second-year student at Victoria University embarking on the grand adventure of flatting for the first time. His mother Sarah was predictably skeptical as Felix made plans to kit out his home away from home. Domestic chores weren’t his forte. But in terms of entertainment Felix and his mates were sorted. No, they wouldn’t be looking for a telly. They didn’t need one. They had their laptops. The new essential for flatting isn’t a dishwasher, it's high-speed broadband.

In her 70s, Auckland resident Pauline Wong discovered Skype, an experience that transformed her weekly calls to her son and his family living in Hong Kong. Pauline could see and hear her grandkids, they could show her their latest artwork and baking experiments.

“It wasn’t the same as being there, but it was the next best thing.” She remains astounded at how video chatting with her grandkids half a world away doesn’t cost her a thing on top of her usual telco bill.

Welcome to the wired home. A nationwide survey by research company Colmar Brunton found the laptop has become the hub of choice at home for 79% of adults and 54% of children. They like the portability, and how web cameras can enhance how we communicate with friends and family. For the new wired home, entertainment is video on demand. People want to watch what they want, when they want. For today’s kids, entertainment is synonymous with the internet, with 72% of children surveyed using a laptop to watch video clips.

In the same survey, households were asked to rate what service delivered by broadband was most appealing. One quarter plumped for television and movies on demand, with video conferencing coming in a close second.

As marketers are wont to do, the new wired household has been thoughtfully divided into handy segments.

The Digital Natives are young, half under 30, and include the usual suspects, young singles and couples, flatters and students. As early adopters and keen to avoid missing out on anything, a Digital Native household can easily have up to seven devices connected online per household. They love their smartphones, with their laptops a close second.

Affluent Families are households with couples at their career peak, between 30 and 59 years old, with older children living at home. They want no-nonsense efficiency and to be organized, no doubt because they are the epitome of the time poor. They have the highest household income and on average there will be 3.4 devices online at any time.

The Pragmatists are empty-nesters. The internet is a tool, rather than a plaything. They want online learning and services – none of that online gaming and social media stuff. They’d much rather spend their money on something in the real rather than the virtual world. As for the latest smartphone, forget it.

The Connected Matriarchs are older and largely women. Also empty nesters, they use the internet to keep in touch with friends and family. They feel a little overwhelmed by the pace of change and talk of 100Mbps connections leaves them reeling. How it happens is not important, the social connection is.

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“Fave fast fibre uses”

Colmar Brunton asked a group of New Zealanders what was the most appealing thing about UFB broadband for them. This is what they said:

“Smart devices or not?”

There's plenty of connectable hardware out there but we're not necessarily connecting it all up