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Why Didn't The Internet Take Off In 1983?

jfruh (300774) writes | more than 2 years ago

The Internet 2

jfruh writes "An amazing pair of videos from the AT&T archives tout a service called Viewtron that brought much of what we expect from the modern Internet to customers' homes in 1983. Online news, banking services, restaurant reviews, shopping, e-mail — all were available on your TV set, controlled by a wireless infrared keyboard. The system had 15,000 customers in cities on the U.S. east coast, but was shut down after $50 million was spent on it. But why did it flop? Was the world just not ready for it?"
Link to Original Source

2 comments

Top-down/bottom-up (2)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#39213647)

Sounds like a top-down approach. The Internet succeeded from a bottom-up basis.

Re:Top-down/bottom-up (1)

storkus (179708) | more than 2 years ago | (#39216995)

That is half the problem, I think: the other half is the prices, as explained TFA.

Gouging customers is something that's in AT&T's (and all other monopoly's) blood and they continue to do it to this day--it's just most of the gouging is in the details (a little fee here, a little fee there)...

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