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MANY IN U.S. ALREADY CRUISE THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY

SHARE MANY IN U.S. ALREADY CRUISE THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY

Planning and discussion continues about the emerging information highway, but a new poll released Monday shows millions of Americans are regular travelers on it right now.

The survey of more than 4,000 homes by the Times Mirror Center for the People & the Press concluded that 12 percent of all households have modem-equipped computers and 6 percent regularly go on-line.The Washington-based organization, funded by the Times Mirror Company to study the interplay of people with the media and formation and public policy, also concluded that Americans no longer fear or distrust new technology.

The center's director, Andrew Kohut, said in a statement that a generation gap persists with regard to feelings toward computers. Kohut said those under 50 like and use computers "significantly" more than those over 50. Only seven percent of those over 65 even use computers, the survey found.

A whopping 45 percent of employed survey respondents said they work at home at least sometimes, a number subscribed in part to the new technology.

More people than not also indicated that the hardware and resources of the information highway give them more control over their lives.

But in the television lane of the information highway, travelers require the equivalent of a turbo-charged sports car before they express similar satisfaction with the options available.

The poll found that only 57 percent of television viewers describe themselves as satisfied with their programming choices.