An Internet cafe or cybercafe is a place which provides internet access to the public, usually for a fee. These businesses usually provide snacks and drinks, hence the cafe in the name. The fee for using a computer is usually charged as a time-based rate. Internet cafes are a natural evolution of the traditional cafe. Cafes started as places for information exchange, and have always been used as places to read the paper, send postcards home, play traditional or electronic games, chat to friends, find out local information. Cafes have also been in the forefront of promoting new technologies.
Internet cafes are located worldwide, and many people use them when traveling to access webmail and instant messaging services to keep in touch with family and friends. Apart from travelers, in many developing countries Internet cafes are the primary form of Internet access for citizens as a shared-access model is more affordable than personal ownership of equipment and/or software. A variation on the Internet cafe business model is the LAN gaming center, used for multiplayer gaming. These cafes have several computer stations connected to a LAN.
The connected computers are custom-assembled for gameplay, supporting popular multiplayer games. This is reducing the need for video arcades and arcade games, many of which are being closed down or merged into Internet cafes. The use of Internet cafes for multiplayer gaming is particularly popular in certain areas of Asia like China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea and The Philippines. In some countries, since practically all LAN gaming centers also offer Internet access, the terms net cafe and LAN gaming center have become interchangeable.
Again, this shared-access model is more affordable than personal ownership of equipment and/or software, specially since games often require high end and expensive PC’s. There are also Internet kiosks, Internet access points in public places like public libraries, airport halls, sometimes just for brief use while standing. Many hotels, resorts, and cruise ships offer Internet access for the convenience of their guests; this can take various forms, such as in-room wireless access, or a web browser that uses the in-room television set for its display (usually in his case the hotel provides a wireless keyboard on the assumption that the guest will use it from the bed), or computer(s) that guests can use, either in the lobby or in a business center.
As with telephone service, in the US most mid-price hotels offer Internet access from a computer in the lobby to registered guests without charging an additional fee, while fancier hotels are more likely to charge for the use of a computer in their “business center. For those traveling by road in North America, many truck stops have Internet kiosks, for which a typical charge is around 20 cents per minute. Internet cafes come in a wide range of styles, reflecting their location, main clientele, and sometimes, the social agenda of the proprietors. In the early days they were important in projecting the image of the Internet as a ‘cool’ phenomena. Building up an internet cafe seems so easy from outside. It feels as if one just needs to pull some chairs and tables, few computers and an internet networking system, and here goes the flourishing business.
One has to take many steps and decisions to make his business successful. It needs a lot of patience, administrative quality and leadership skills to maintain an internet cafe. Running an internet cafe is quite challenging job as you have to deal with the employs, customers, the safety on internet, environment of the cafe and the quality of internet. One has to satisfy everyone, has to keep an eye on because there is lot of competition in this field too. It might difficult at the beginning, because there were not many resources.
But nowadays, with the invention of high technological efficient internet cafe software, it has been quite little easy for the internet cafe owners to take care of all their duties. A lot of burden has been raised from their shoulders. Having a check on the customers activities as the cyber crime rate is getting sky high, blocking of different sites that are harmful for the environment of the viewers and giving a homely environment to users, are some of the various advantages that one can achieve using the internet cafe software.
Moreover to these advantages, internet cafe software also accelerates the speed of internet. It makes the users feel contented while using the internet in cafe as it increases the downloading speed and improves the quality of internet. Due to all above discussed reasons the work of cafe owners has become trouble-free and convenient. The customers are attracted towards the cafes due to their better performance and professional environment. As the environment is professional, it does not fascinate only one class of people, it caters to the need of people of every age.
As Internet access is in increasing demand, many pubs, bars and cafes have terminals, so the distinction between the Internet cafe and normal cafe is eroded. In some, particularly European countries, the number of pure Internet cafes is decreasing since more and more normal cafes offer the same services. However, there are European countries where the total number of publicly accessible terminals is also decreasing. An example of such a country is Germany.
The cause of this development is a combination of complicated regulation, relatively high Internet penetration rates, the widespread use of notebooks and PDAs and the relatively high number of WLAN hotspots. Many pubs, bars and cafes in Germany offer WLAN, but no terminals since the Internet cafe regulations do not apply if no terminal is offered. Additionally, the use of Internet cafes for multiplayer gaming is very difficult in Germany since the Internet cafe regulations and a second type of regulations which was originally established for video arcade centers applies to this kind of Internet cafes.
It is, for example, forbidden for people under the age of 18 to enter such an Internet cafe, although particularly people under 18 are an important group of customers for this type of Internet cafe. In Asia, gaming is very popular at the Internet Cafes. This popularity has helped create a strong demand and a sustainable revenue model for most Internet cafes. With growing popularity, there also comes with this a responsibility as well. In fighting for competitive market share, the Internet cafes have started charging less and hence are adopting alternate means to maximize revenue.
This includes selling food, beverages, game and telephone cards to its patrons. Today in the Philippines, the net cafe business has even expanded to online gaming to which most net cafe owners admit rakes in the bigger share of their monthly revenues. Then, there’s the local chain of net cafes like Netopia and Station 168 that’s been mushrooming all over the country. So it looks like putting up an internet cafe is still a viable business. But, and that’s a big BUT, take into consideration several factors that will spell the success or failure of your business venture.
As the popularity of the Internet continues to grow here in Philippines specifically here in Albay, easy and affordable access is quickly becoming a necessity of life. We will provide communities with the ability to access the Internet, enjoying it with snacks we offer, and share Internet experiences in a comfortable environment. People of all ages and backgrounds will come to enjoy the unique, upscale, educational, and innovative environment that we will be provided provides.
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