Internet cafe
Overview
 
An Internet café or cybercafé is a place which provides internet access to the public, usually for a fee. These businesses usually provide snacks and drinks, hence the café in the name. The fee for using a computer is usually charged as a time-based rate.
The online café phenomenon was started in July 1991 by Wayne Gregori in San Francisco when he began SFnet Coffeehouse Network
Sf net
SF NET Coffee House Network was created by Wayne Gregori in San Francisco, CA in July of 1991. The network consisted of coin operated, public access computers installed in 25 Bay Area coffee houses...

. Gregori designed, built and installed 25 coin operated computer terminals in coffeehouses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Encyclopedia
An Internet café or cybercafé is a place which provides internet access to the public, usually for a fee. These businesses usually provide snacks and drinks, hence the café in the name. The fee for using a computer is usually charged as a time-based rate.

History

The online café phenomenon was started in July 1991 by Wayne Gregori in San Francisco when he began SFnet Coffeehouse Network
Sf net
SF NET Coffee House Network was created by Wayne Gregori in San Francisco, CA in July of 1991. The network consisted of coin operated, public access computers installed in 25 Bay Area coffee houses...

. Gregori designed, built and installed 25 coin operated computer terminals in coffeehouses throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. The café terminals dialed into a 32 line Bulletin Board System
Bulletin board system
A Bulletin Board System, or BBS, is a computer system running software that allows users to connect and log in to the system using a terminal program. Once logged in, a user can perform functions such as uploading and downloading software and data, reading news and bulletins, and exchanging...

 that offered an array of electronic services including FIDOnet
FidoNet
FidoNet is a worldwide computer network that is used for communication between bulletin board systems. It was most popular in the early to mid 1990s, prior to the introduction of easy and affordable access to the Internet...

 mail and, in 1992, Internet mail.
The concept of a café with full Internet access (and the name Cybercafé) was invented in early 1994 by Ivan Pope
Ivan Pope
Ivan Pope was involved with many early internet developments in the UK and across the world. He started networking in 1988 while a contemporary of Damien Hirst and the YBAs at art college in London. After graduation he went on to develop an early bulletin board systems for artists . Pope invented...

. Commissioned to develop an Internet event for an arts weekend at the Institute of Contemporary Arts
Institute of Contemporary Arts
The Institute of Contemporary Arts is an artistic and cultural centre on The Mall in London, just off Trafalgar Square. It is located within Nash House, part of Carlton House Terrace, near the Duke of York Steps and Admiralty Arch...

 (ICA) in London, and inspired by the SFnet terminal based cafes, Pope wrote a proposal outlining the concept of a café with Internet access from the tables. The event was run over the weekend of 12–13 March 1994 during the 'Towards the Aesthetics of the Future' event.

In June 1994, The Binary Cafe
The Binary Cafe
The Binary Café was an internet cafe which operated on Yonge Street in Toronto, Ontario from approximately June 1994 through December 1994. It is significant in that it was Canada's first internet cafe...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

's first Internet café, opened in Toronto, Ontario.

After an initial appearance at the conference site of the 5th International Symposium on Electronic Art, ISEA
ISEA
ISEA, or Inter-Society for the Electronic Arts is "an international non-profit organization fostering interdisciplinary academic discourse and exchange among culturally diverse organizations and individuals working with art, science and emerging technologies." ISEA was founded in the Netherlands...

, in August 1994, an establishment called CompuCafe was established in Helsinki
Helsinki
Helsinki is the capital and largest city in Finland. It is in the region of Uusimaa, located in southern Finland, on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, an arm of the Baltic Sea. The population of the city of Helsinki is , making it by far the most populous municipality in Finland. Helsinki is...

, Finland
Finland
Finland , officially the Republic of Finland, is a Nordic country situated in the Fennoscandian region of Northern Europe. It is bordered by Sweden in the west, Norway in the north and Russia in the east, while Estonia lies to its south across the Gulf of Finland.Around 5.4 million people reside...

, featuring both Internet access and a robotic beer seller.

Inspired partly by the ICA event, a commercial establishment of this type, called Cyberia
Cyberia, London
Cyberia, London was the first internet café in the UK, providing computers with Internet access as well as food and drinks.-History:The online cafe phenomenon was started in July 1991 by Wayne Gregori in San Francisco when he began SFnet Coffeehouse Network...

, opened on September 1, 1994 in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. In January 1995, CB1 Café in Cambridge, installed internet and is the longest running Internet Café in the UK, still operating today.

The first public, commercial American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 Internet café was conceived and opened by Jeff Anderson in August 1994, at Infomart in Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas
Dallas is the third-largest city in Texas and the ninth-largest in the United States. The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is the largest metropolitan area in the South and fourth-largest metropolitan area in the United States...

 and was called The High Tech Cafe.

Next, in the USA
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, three Internet cafés opened in the East Village
East Village, Manhattan
The East Village is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City, lying east of Greenwich Village, south of Gramercy and Stuyvesant Town, and north of the Lower East Side...

 neighborhood of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

: Internet Cafetm, opened by Arthur Perley, the @ Cafe, and the Heroic Sandwich. In 1996, the Internet café Surf City opened in downtown Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage, Alaska
Anchorage is a unified home rule municipality in the southcentral part of the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost major city in the United States...

.

A variation of Internet café called PC bang
PC bang
A PC bang is a type of LAN gaming center, where patrons can play multiplayer computer games for a small hourly fee. The typical cost for an hour of play ranges from 500 to 1500 won , but 1000 won per hour is the most common cost in PC bang...

 (similar to LAN gaming center
LAN Gaming Center
A LAN Gaming Center is a business where one can use a computer connected over a LAN to other computers, primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer computer games. Use of these computers or game consoles costs a fee, usually per hour or minute; sometimes one can have unmetered access with a...

) became extremely popular in South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 when StarCraft
StarCraft
StarCraft is a military science fiction real-time strategy video game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The first game of the StarCraft series was released for Microsoft Windows on 31 March 1998. With more than 11 million copies sold worldwide as of February 2009, it is one of the best-selling...

 was released in 1997. Although computer and broadband
Broadband Internet access
Broadband Internet access, often shortened to just "broadband", is a high data rate, low-latency connection to the Internet— typically contrasted with dial-up access using a 56 kbit/s modem or satellite Internet with inherently high latency....

 penetration per capita were very high, young people went to PC bangs to play multiplayer games.

Characteristics

Internet cafés are located worldwide, and many people use them when traveling to access webmail and instant messaging
Instant messaging
Instant Messaging is a form of real-time direct text-based chatting communication in push mode between two or more people using personal computers or other devices, along with shared clients. The user's text is conveyed over a network, such as the Internet...

 services to keep in touch with family and friends. Apart from travelers, in many developing countries Internet cafés are the primary form of Internet access for citizens as a shared-access model is more affordable than personal ownership of equipment and/or software. A variation on the Internet café business model
Business model
A business model describes the rationale of how an organization creates, delivers, and captures value...

 is the LAN gaming center
LAN Gaming Center
A LAN Gaming Center is a business where one can use a computer connected over a LAN to other computers, primarily for the purpose of playing multiplayer computer games. Use of these computers or game consoles costs a fee, usually per hour or minute; sometimes one can have unmetered access with a...

, used for multiplayer gaming. These cafés have several computer stations connected to a LAN
Local area network
A local area network is a computer network that interconnects computers in a limited area such as a home, school, computer laboratory, or office building...

. The connected computers are custom-assembled for gameplay, supporting popular multiplayer games. This is reducing the need for video arcade
Video arcade
An amusement arcade or video arcade is a venue where people play arcade games such as video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games, merchandisers , or coin-operated billiards or air hockey tables...

s and arcade game
Arcade game
An arcade game is a coin-operated entertainment machine, usually installed in public businesses such as restaurants, bars, and amusement arcades. Most arcade games are video games, pinball machines, electro-mechanical games, redemption games, and merchandisers...

s, many of which are being closed down or merged into Internet cafés. The use of Internet cafés for multiplayer gaming is particularly popular in certain areas of Asia like China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, Hong Kong, South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

 and the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. In some countries, since practically all LAN gaming centers also offer Internet access, the terms net cafe and LAN gaming center have become interchangeable. Again, this shared-access model is more affordable than personal ownership of equipment and/or software, specially since games often require high end and expensive PCs.

There are also Internet kiosks, Internet access points in public places like public libraries, airport
Airport
An airport is a location where aircraft such as fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and blimps take off and land. Aircraft may be stored or maintained at an airport...

 halls, sometimes just for brief use while standing. Many hotels, resorts, and cruise ships offer Internet access for the convenience of their guests; this can take various forms, such as in-room wireless access, or a web browser that uses the in-room television set for its display (usually in this case the hotel provides a wireless keyboard on the assumption that the guest will use it from the bed), or computer(s) that guests can use, either in the lobby or in a business center. As with telephone service, in the US most mid-price hotels offer Internet access from a computer in the lobby to registered guests without charging an additional fee, while fancier hotels are more likely to charge for the use of a computer in their "business center."

For those traveling by road in North America, many truck stop
Truck stop
A truck stop is a commercial facility predicated on providing fuel, parking, and often food and other services to motorists and truck drivers...

s have Internet kiosks, for which a typical charge is around 20 cents per minute.

Internet cafés come in a wide range of styles, reflecting their location, main clientele, and sometimes, the social agenda of the proprietors. In the early days they were important in projecting the image of the Internet as a 'cool' phenomena.

Evolution

Internet cafés are a natural evolution of the traditional café
Café
A café , also spelled cafe, in most countries refers to an establishment which focuses on serving coffee, like an American coffeehouse. In the United States, it may refer to an informal restaurant, offering a range of hot meals and made-to-order sandwiches...

. Cafés started as places for information exchange, and have always been used as places to read the paper, send postcards home, play traditional or electronic games, chat to friends, find out local information. Cafés have also been in the forefront of promoting new technologies, for example, the car in 1950s California.

As Internet access is in increasing demand, many pubs, bars and cafes have terminals, so the distinction between the Internet cafe and normal café is eroded. In some, particularly Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an countries, the number of pure Internet cafés is decreasing since more and more normal cafés offer the same services. However, there are European countries where the total number of publicly accessible terminals is also decreasing. An example of such a country is Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

. The cause of this development is a combination of complicated regulation, relatively high Internet penetration rates, the widespread use of notebooks and PDAs and the relatively high number of WLAN hotspots. Many pubs, bars and cafés in Germany offer WLAN, but no terminals since the Internet café regulations do not apply if no terminal is offered. Additionally, the use of Internet cafés for multiplayer gaming is very difficult in Germany since the Internet cafe regulations and a second type of regulations which was originally established for video arcade centers applies to this kind of Internet cafes. It is, for example, forbidden for people under the age of 18 to enter such an Internet café, although particularly people under 18 are an important group of customers for this type of Internet café.

While most Internet cafés are private businesses many have been set up to help bridge the 'digital divide
Digital divide
The Digital Divide refers to inequalities between individuals, households, business, and geographic areas at different socioeconomic levels in access to information and communication technologies and Internet connectivity and in the knowledge and skills needed to effectively use the information...

', providing computer access and training to those without home access. For example, the UK government has supported the setting up of 6000 telecentres.

In Asia, gaming is very popular at the Internet Cafes. This popularity has helped create a strong demand and a sustainable revenue model for most Internet cafes. With growing popularity, there also comes with this a responsibility as well. In fighting for competitive market share, the Internet cafes have started charging less and hence are adopting alternate means to maximize revenue. This includes selling food, beverages, game and telephone cards to its patrons.

In July 2008 the worlds first Internet Cafe on the Internet was released in Karlskoga, Sweden. Virtual Internet Cafe http://www.virtualinternetcafe.com use the same principles as a regular Internet Cafe, but is completely based on the Internet. Users of Virtual Internet Cafe remote control designated Cafe computers instead of using their own computers on the Internet. This gives the users the option to be completely anonymous on the Internet while protecting their own computers from malicious software and spywares.

Censorship and copyright violation

In places with censoring regimes such as Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, Internet cafés are closely controlled. In some places computers are in booths to allow private access to pornography. In some areas of Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 they are controlled because they attract street gangs.

Copyright violations by clients are cause for concern by Internet café operators. For example, the EasyInternetcafe
EasyInternetcafé
EasyInternetcafé is a chain of Internet cafés and a unit of Stelios Haji-Ioannou's EasyGroup.It is Europe's largest chain of Internet cafés and is the holder of the record for the world’s largest Internet café with 800 terminals near New York's Times Square, opened by Carly Fiorina, CEO of...

chain discontinued its CD burning services because it was held responsible for copyright violations by clients.

Mainland China

According to the "Survey of China Internet Café Industry" by the People's Republic of China Ministry of Culture in 2005, Mainland China has 110,000 Internet cafés, with more than 1,000,000 employees contributing 18,500,000,000 yuan
Renminbi
The Renminbi is the official currency of the People's Republic of China . Renminbi is legal tender in mainland China, but not in Hong Kong or Macau. It is issued by the People's Bank of China, the monetary authority of the PRC...

 to P.R. China's GDP. More than 70% of Internet café visitors are from 18 to 30 years old. 90% are male, 65% are unmarried, and 54% hold a university degree. More than 70% of visitors play computer games. 20% of China's Internet users go to Internet cafes.

Brazil

In Brazil, the initial concept brought by Monkey Paulista was based on the business model used by Internet cafes in South Korea, since this was the first house LAN to exist in Brazil, inaugurated in São Paulo, starting its activities in 1998. The company closed in 2010. [2] However, just a week later for reasons of bureaucracy, the company Lan Game @ The House was opened and today is the 1st lan house of Brazil in activity. Today it is seen as the country as a way to test new technologies and demonstration of games and products.

Milestones:
  • Before 1995 - An Internet Café called 3C+T appeared in Shanghai, probably the first in China. The price was 20 Yuan per hour($2.50 per hour)

  • 1995~1998 - China's Internet Cafés proliferate. Playing unconnected games is the main purpose of café users. The average price was 15~20 Yuan per hour.

  • 1998~2000 - A period of great expansion for Internet cafes with more competition.

  • 2000~2002 - Increasing popularity in Internet games. The first Internet chain café opened in 2001. Because nine people were killed in an Internet café fire in Beijing in June, 2002, a new regulation was passed giving the Ministry of Culture full responsibility for licensing Internet cafés.

  • After 2002 - Heavy censorships were imposed, including real-name registration. At the end of 2004, more than 70,000 Internet cafés were closed in a nationwide campaign.

  • 2008 - Microsoft attempts to make Internet Cafes profitable in Asia and other emerging markets. After discussions with the governments of these countries, it helps to establish safe Internet cafes.

2009: Over 6,000 Internet cafes in countries like Thailand and Indonesia have voluntarily signed up to provide a safe software experience for its patrons. With over 100,000 computers involved in this program, it is the largest mass improvement of Internet cafes in the world.

Greece

First Internet Cafe in Greece was Museum internet cafe 1998-2008. Popularity of Internet games had as result the growth of internet cafe at all cities and islands with Salonika leading the progress. Most of them are Gaming stations and few are original Internet cafes mostly in Central Athens, Glyfada, Islands. Prices 1-3 euros per hour and offers are available. On 2010 and 2011 many of the internet cafes closed due to economical crisis.

Indonesia

According to APWKomitel (Association of Community Internet Center) there are 5,000 Internet Cafes in urban Indonesian cities in 2006 providing computer/printer/scanner rental, training, PC gaming and Internet Access/Rental to the people who do not have PC or Internet access at home. The website also contains a directory listing some of these warnet/telecenter/gamecenter in Indonesia. In urban areas, the generic name is Warnet (or Warung Internet) and in rural areas the generic name is Telecenter. Warnets/ Netcafes (i.e.: Java NetCafe established in 1998) are usually owned by private SME as bottom-up initiatives, while Telecenters in rural villages are usually initiated by Government and Donors as top-down financing. Information on Netcafe/Warnet in Indonesia can also be found in a book titled: Connected for Development:Indonesian Case study.
Currently, no special license is required to operate an Internet Cafe or Warnet in Indonesia, except for the ordinary business license also applied to cafe or small shop. Because of hype and many Internet cafe starting their business without proper planning, some of them closed down for lack of a business plan. Although the number is still growing, associations such as APWKomitel urge new Internet cafe owners to do a feasibility study before planning to open an Internet cafe, and provide a business model called Multipurpose Community Internet Center or "MCI Center" to make the business more sustainable and competitive.

Malaysia

In Malaysia, most of the teenagers love to visit Internet cafes to enjoy their gaming time with friends. The Internet cafe in Malaysia also called as cybercafe,"Kafe Internet" in Malay and "网吧" in Chinese, some of the Internet cafe in Malaysia combine the characteristics of a F&B cafe and an Internet cafe.

South Korea

In South Korea
South Korea
The Republic of Korea , , is a sovereign state in East Asia, located on the southern portion of the Korean Peninsula. It is neighbored by the People's Republic of China to the west, Japan to the east, North Korea to the north, and the East China Sea and Republic of China to the south...

, Internet cafes are called PC bang
PC bang
A PC bang is a type of LAN gaming center, where patrons can play multiplayer computer games for a small hourly fee. The typical cost for an hour of play ranges from 500 to 1500 won , but 1000 won per hour is the most common cost in PC bang...

s. They are ubiquitous in South Korean cities, numbering over 20,000. PC bangs mostly cater to online game playing for the younger generation. On average and mode, use of a PC bang computer is priced at around 1,000 won
South Korean won
The won is the currency of South Korea. A single won is divided into 100 jeon, the monetary subunit. The jeon is no longer used for everyday transactions, and appears only in foreign exchange rates...

 per hour (about USD$
United States dollar
The United States dollar , also referred to as the American dollar, is the official currency of the United States of America. It is divided into 100 smaller units called cents or pennies....

0.88).

Taiwan

In Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, many people go to Internet cafés.
The Internet café in traditional Chinese is "網咖" (wangka). The first character means "net" and the second character is the first syllable of "café."

Philippines

In the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, internet cafés are found on every street in major cities and there is at least one in most municipalities or towns. There are also internet cafés in coffee shops and malls. High-end restaurants and fast food chains also provide free broadband to diners. Rates range from P10 ($0.20) on streets, up to P100 ($2) in malls.

See also

  • Hotspot (Wi-Fi)
    Hotspot (Wi-Fi)
    A hotspot is a site that offers Internet access over a wireless local area network through the use of a router connected to a link to an Internet service provider...

  • Manga cafe
    Manga cafe
    A is a kind of café in Japan where people can read manga. People pay for the time they stay in the café. Most manga cafés also offer internet access like and vice versa, making the two terms mostly interchangeable in Japan. . Additional services include video games, television, snack/beverage...

  • Net cafe refugees
  • Public computer
    Public computer
    A public computer is any of various computers available in public areas. Some places where public computers may be available are libraries, schools, or facilities run by government....

  • Telecenter

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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