(Seattle Times; 11/10/97)
Coming soon near yo

Not so long ago, the only places to log on to the Internet away from home or the office were cybercafes in hip spots like New York and San Francisco.

That was then. Now, public Internet terminals are popping up everywhere from airports to copy centers to convenience stores, offering access to e-mail and the Web on a pay-as-you-go basis.

Public Internet terminals aren't ubiquitous yet, but give them a few years and they could be, industry insiders believe.

"Public access is where the Internet was two years ago," said Pam Shelpuk, co-founder of CyberFlyer Technologies (, a Denver start-up that is installing terminals in eight U.S. airports.

Companies are putting up Internet kiosks and modem-equipped PCs any place they think will attract a steady stream of potential customers. So far, airports, train stations, commuter ferries and other transportation centers account for the most traffic, luring business travelers and others who don't mind spending a few bucks to check their e-mail.

But companies are equally enthusiastic about the potential of hotel lobbies, shopping centers, movie theaters, subways, even truck stops as Internet way stations.

The basic public Internet terminal is a free-standing unit that looks like a pay-phone booth, with one or two PCs contained in a tamper-resistant metal case, with a mouse, keyboard and built-in credit-card reader. Some offer separate modem ports and electrical outlets, so people traveling with a laptop can plug in and log on to their corporate networks. A few have pay phones beside the computer screens. Most terminals provide Internet access via high- speed ISDN or T1 access lines through a local or national Internet service provider. {A4:SeattleTimes-1110.01716} 11/10/97