If broadband was the big story of 2002, it looks like Wi-Fi (wireless networking) is going to take its place in 2003.

Home wireless networking is officially The Next Big Thing according to the results of a recent poll on the PC Advisor website.

More than a quarter (25.4 percent) of poll respondents indicated they would be installing a wireless network over the next six months, joining the 13.7 percent who said they had already done so.

IT consultant and PC Advisor forum editor Peter Thomas wasn't surprised by the results.

"Wireless networking seems to be inextricably linked to broadband internet access because for home users it's the possibility of sharing a broadband service between computers that drives any move to wireless connectivity.

"I don't see too many home users adopting wireless networking for file or application sharing in the home, and that is certainly the case with quite a few of my private clients. All they care about is being able to share broadband with other family members — children with computers in their rooms for instance."