Dana Blankenhorn states that the battle for control, between the ISPs and the router makers will define the World of Always-On for the next two years.
An Always-On home has both a wireless LAN on the inside and fast Internet connectivity on the outside….
Another important point is the question of who controls the environment. If you get a gateway it’s the ISP. They can sell a variety of add-in services, through the gateway, that will improve your Internet experience in various ways. Server-based parental controls, announced by Netopia (and others), is just the first of what will be many service offerings.
When you go the router route, control passes, not so much to you as to the hardware maker. If your wireless router is a ‘modular, scalable platform’ built on a ‘PC operating system’ with a ‘big kernel’ (as I suggest), the hardware maker may then work with its channel on applications.