Cybercafe goes for student link

April 7, 1995

Cyberia opened its second Internet cafe last week in the wake of a row with its former access provider, Pipex.

The cafe now gets its Internet feed from BT and has plans for international expansion.

The new cafe in Kingston-upon-Thames signals Cyberia's growing interest in doing business with the higher education sector. Informal links have been building with individual departments at Kingston University and Cyberia recently.

Kingston Cyberia will also aim to provide access for increasing numbers of non-traditional students who are seeking to enrol in new forms of the degree courses that universities are beginning to offer on the Internet through the World-Wide Web.

The firm now plans to open its third United Kingdom cafe in Edinburgh next Friday and is preparing to open a fourth site in Paris in May, although negotiations are said to be at an early stage.

The Kingston connection was made with new providers BT after Cambridge-based Pipex cut off the firm's first central London site, claiming non-payment of bills totalling almost Pounds 10,000.

David Rowe, Cyberia chairman, said that all bills had been paid to Pipex and the connection between the two companies had ceased. Pipex confirmed it had received a cheque from Easynet, a company linked to Cyberia which provides Internet service to homes and small business.

Negotiations have been held for some months between Cyberia and BT. Cyberia's international expansion plans were discussed.

Mr Rowe said: "BT are interested in creating nodes in Europe and globally, outside the United States, as a net provider."

Cyberia, he said, wanted to expand with sites around the world and would benefit from dealing with a single provider who was prepared to put in "head-ends" or main connections in strategic cities.

Access times to resources on the net from the various Cyberia sites will be shortened by the use of fibre-optic cabling The London operations will also have ISDN2 lines by the end of this month.

The Cyberia welcome page is at http://www.easynet.co.uk.

The Edinburgh cafe will open at 86-88, Hanover Street (0131 447 0241) and the Kingston site is at 48, High Street (0181 974 9650).

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