Has the Internet Café got a future?

  TOPCAT® 18:36 01 Sep 04

The Internet Café is celebrating its 10th birthday - see link below. It blossomed slowly at first with just dial-up access. Now its patronage is beginning to decline in the UK because more of us have Internet access at home.

So, has it got a future? Some say not, but the manager at the Living Space cyber café in London's Waterloo district is doing all he can to ensure it has.

I've never used one myself but I gather they are very useful for the traveller. TC.

click here

  Forum Editor 19:02 01 Sep 04

in the Far East you'll see that internet cafes are alive and well - usually crammed with young travellers communicating with friends and family back home. My son went travelling through South America, New Zealand, Australia, Thailand and Malaysia the year after he graduated and he used internet cafes wherever he could find them.

I regularly see quite a few as I travel around London, and they always seem to have people inside. I don't think I would recommend them as an investment opprotunity though - technology's getting cheaper and easier, and almost everyone will eventually carry a device that can send/receive email and/or surf the web. Just wait until your mobile phone has a built-in hard drive - it won't be long.

  spikeychris 20:02 01 Sep 04

Well I don't regularly see the bright lights of Londinium but here in Lancashire they are few and far between. That might however be due to the fact that there are so many free access points available for people to use. Most if not all local BBC studios have "open centres" and if other counties are like Lancs then the local council provide free net access in library's etc.

  watchful 20:51 01 Sep 04

Not in our town. We had one, for about 9 months, then it closed.
As said by Spikeychris, our local libraries offer free access. Lancashire.

  Old Shep 22:12 01 Sep 04

I went to one about 8 years ago out of curiosity prior to going onto the internet at home. Sadly that one has closed down. I live in West Devon and in my local town a new shop was to open (an Internet Cafe) the town had just been broadband enabled -unlike myself at that time. Great I thought my first port of call when it opens. Having done all the adverts,furnished it with desks etc it never opened only to be replaced by an Estate Agents. As previously said the Internet can be accessed from the local library and I think that these places are a thing of the past unfortunately.

  spuds 23:04 01 Sep 04

As previously stated, the internet cafe in the UK seems to have declined. In the locations that I live,there were a number of 'cafes'that opened up last year, two of those have now closed down through lack of trade. All of the local libraries have gone internet crazy, so perhaps that is the reason for the internet cafe insecurity. Only one good thing, that I could see was the better opening times with internet cafes: Libraries Monday to Friday 9.30am till 5.30/8.00pm. Saturday 9.30am till noon. Internet cafes seem to cater for various hours and times depending on clientele, but one that recently closed down, was doing a 24/7 run!.

  DJH584 11:15 02 Sep 04

Out here in Clacton On Sea in Essex (yes I know but SOMEONE has to live here!!!) I have never seen an Internet cafe - if such a thing ever existed.

They are certainly prolific in Spain, but there again Spain's telecoms systems have a lot of catching up to do even to be on a par with the UK.

Not every household in Spain has a telephone line, but every town that I have visited from Chichlana de la Frontera in the west to Javea in the east has at least two such cafes. I only know this because I have made use of them and at €2.00 (£1.40)an hour it was very cost effective for me to stay in touch.

Declining in the UK ? Probably. As FE has pointed out, technology is getting cheaper and easier to use and this may well signal the demise of such places in the UK as time goes on.

Just a thought? How prolific are Internet cafes in the USA or are they dying off as well?


  Dorsai 19:31 02 Sep 04

I don't think we even have one where i live, and that is in a big town near Oxford. If we do, it's remarkably badly advertised, and so certianly does not have a future.

  TOPCAT® 20:27 02 Sep 04

In answer to your query it would seem they are in decline in the US too. On a quick check at click here California state has the highest number at eleven. Alaska beats Texas in number and several states have zero, including Nevada.

No doubt too busy gambling I would imagine! :o) TC.

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