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A recent survey conducted by MCI Communications Corp. has come up with the surprising discovery that consumers want education first and entertainment second from the information superhighway.

The MCI Multi-Media Survey was commissioned late last year by the No. 2 long-distance telephone provider to help MCI shape the development of network-MCI, its new information superhighway brand for consumers and businesses.

MCI expects to offer various multimedia services to consumers within the next few years, company spokesmen said.

In a nationwide phone survey of more than 800 adults, 76% of respondents said their top interest in the superhighway is to gain access to libraries and educational programs, allowing them to take courses and study via phone, computer and TV.

Entertainment, usually considered consumers' top interest in multimedia services eventually to be offered, followed with 61% indicating interest in movies on demand.

Travel was another hot item, with 55% of consumers surveyed hoping the superhighway would bring them direct access from their homes to travel reservation networks.

New forms of communication were also high on consumers' lists, with 44% saying they want to use the information superhighway for video communications with their friends and family.

More than two-thirds of respondents said they expect such multimedia services to be available in their homes within five years and half said they expect phone companies, TV media and computer companies to be primary providers.

Only 23% were unfamiliar with the idea.

The MCI Multi-Media Survey was conducted in November and December by Washington-based Peter D. Hart Research Associates and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

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