Ten years ago today, the world`s first internet cafe opened its doors in London’s West End. To mark the occasion, Yahoo! Mail has unveiled the best places around the globe to surf the net. The winners of the inaugural Yahoo! Mail Internet Cafe Awards include a unique laundromat / internet cafe in San Francisco, a sleek and modern internet cafe in the shadow of The Kremlin in Moscow, and an exceptional internet cafe which specifically caters to senior citizens in Swansea, Wales.
Over the summer, travellers sent in over 1000 nominations for internet cafes in 111 countries. The winners were then chosen by a judging panel, which included Eva Pascoe, who co-founded Cafe Cyberia, the world’s first internet cafe, in London’s Whitfield Street on 1 September 1994.
Other judges include James Bilefield, MD Communication Products at Yahoo! Europe, Mark Ellingham, the founder of Rough Guides; Anna Bacon from STA Travel and Lyn Hughes the editor and founder of Wanderlust magazine. The best nominations have been listed in a special Rough Guides e-book (The Rough Guide to the World’s Best Internet Cafes – Found and Brought to you by Yahoo! UK), which is available to download at yahoo.co.uk/internetcafes
The cafes were entered into one of five categories: Most Remote Internet Cafe, Most Unusual, Most Stylish, Best UK and a special Life Saver category (an internet cafe that was there in a traveller’s hour of need).
The winners are:
According to James Bilefield, MD, Communication Products Yahoo! Europe, “The internet cafe concept is as fresh and as relevant today as it was ten years ago.”
“It’s now second nature for travellers and people on the move to use the local internet cafe to keep up with the news from home and to tell friends and family where they have been.
However many internet cafes also provide an essential service for the local community, and in the developing world, a place where people can learn from the internet and communicate with others around the globe.”
According to Eva Pascoe, “Despite the fact that home and work internet access is now commonplace, internet cafes fulfil the same role as they did ten years ago. They are the post offices of the wired generation.”
“What surprised me was how many of the cafes nominated had been set up so recently and how advanced they were in terms of technical set up. I only wish I had been able to do the same with Cafe Cyberia all those years ago!”
31 August 2004