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There was a time when cyber cafes were the most happening place for the internet. As people could not have internet connection in their home (due to availability or high cost), they prefer to go to a Cybercafe for their access to the information. Cybercafe is the place for people to use the internet by paying some bucks per hour basis. They used the internet for some works, information or chatting or entertainment. At that time, cyber cafes were easily found in every corner of a city. It was also ubiquitous in popular tourist places like trekking havens. Then, Cybercafe was the tool to reduce the gap among people with and without the internet.
There were ups and downs in the cost of an hour’s internet in those cafes. It ranged from Rs 50 to Rs 10, in different years. Also, it was depending on the speed of the internet and the charge of the cafe’s internet service provider.
It is true that people cannot live without the internet. Students use it for their course assignment, project works. Lovers hang on to it to be together with their loved ones virtually. Teachers use it for their content preparation, presentation. Professionals use it for advancement in their works. A researcher uses the internet to find the research works done by others in the same field. People now feel different when they are not able to use the internet. And It is always better if they find their information on their own devices.
Now that the internet is quite easy to find at home, office or on the go, there are fewer people who prefer to go to Cybercafe for the internet. At home or friends/relatives’ places or offices, you can get WiFi access to your computer, mobile. The sharing of home internet among multiple families is also quite a thing here. Whereas on the move, the cellular network is mostly available. This is due to the mushrooming of Internet service providers at home with technologies like Fiber to the home, WiFi and Cable internet (Combo with TV) and mobile technologies like GPRS, EDGE, 3G, 4G.
Over the years, the mobile data has also become affordable with different range of data packs. The coverage of 3G and 2G internet has extended to several unconnected places. The cost of internet usage at home is constant for each month whereas the cost for mobile data on the move depends on the frequency of usage and content.
Those cybercafes are now available very rarely in the cities. Some transformed it to video parlors, some closed it for other businesses. Even if it is there, business is hard to survive with a cybercafe only. So, they put a whole lot of extra items like printing, VoIP international calls, computer accessories and more. The cafes are also outnumbered in tourist places as the hotels now either provide free WiFi or charged WiFi in their devices. Which is quite easy for the travelers.
If you are an internet fanatic, can you remember when was the last time you visited a cybercafe? It is also quite rare that you are reading this post from a cyber cafe.
So does that mean cyber cafe is going to be dead! Yes, it is. But still, there is some work required for the extension of the internet at every nook & corner and make it more affordable. Otherwise, those left out with such technologies and services, have no other option than cybercafes.