The World’s First Internet Café
The honor of being recorded in history as the world’s first Internet café belongs to Café Cyberia which opened in London, England in September 1, 1994. Café Cyberia was founded by Eva Pascoe who got the business idea of serving coffee to customers who are surfing the web while sitting at a coffee shop near the City University of London where she was taking her PHD degree. She started Cafe Cyberia with half a dozen (6) HP computers which are connected to the Internet through dial-up modems that were able to transfer rate of 9.6 kilobits of data per second.
Cafe Cyberia became very famous for being the first Internet cafe and it attracted additional investments for its expansion from the likes of Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones band and Maurice Saatchi, a famous British advertising executive. With the success of Cafe Cyberia, the Internet Cafe business got into a fast start and the number grew to over 60 similar cafes all over the world by the middle of 1995.
Ms Eva Pascoe did not stay long in the Internet café business and she sold her stake in Cafe Cyberia to three (3) Korean investors in 1998. She moved and engaged on another field of online business, the fashion e-commerce.
The original Cafe Cyberia can still be found in London’s West End at Whitfield St., behind Goodge St. train station. The café was renamed “Be the Reds” by the new Korean owners. “Be the Reds” is a bastardized version of “beat the reds” which is a popular cheer for the South Korean national soccer team.
In the Philippines, there is no actual written record of who founded the first Internet café in the country. In one of the meetings I had with the early Internet café owners in attendance, almost all agreed that the first computer rental shop with Internet access started sometime in 1998 in Quiapo, Manila using 486 PC clones. They could be wrong though so anyone with proof of existence of an Internet café earlier than 1998 can please come forward and set the record straight.
More on the history of Internet cafe and how it transformed from an obviously educational business model of old to its current computer gaming craze in my coming blogs. Wait for them.
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