John Hopkins on Wed, 2 Aug 2017 04:58:48 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The Five Minutes App

One of the reasons that the Internet quickly took off in the US was the existence of toll/charge-free local phone calling unlike in most/all of Europe in the late 80s early 90s. That and the concept of the '800' number whichcould be called from anywhere in the US with no charge. This made constant internet connectivity easily affordable and standard for most locations. Local telephone connections were so cheap that it wasn't hard to afford a complete second telecom line to be used exclusively for a dial-up modem connection to the'net.

I recall in Europe before the wide-spread divestiture of the national telecoms that any calling, local or long-distance had a per-minute charge that was frustrating and stressful. When I was based in Iceland, calls to the US cost upwards of U$D 6.50 *per minute*! One had to plan calls accordingly. 'Free' fax access of any kind was coveted!

These two very different initial conditions made for divergent practices early on. Amurikans had the luxury of constant connectivity, the Euro crowd were on an expensive meter.

I don't remember the year that the first free local telecom connections started up in Europe -- I think Berlin was the initial city in Germany in perhaps 1996-7? -- where local calling came free with the 'regular' monthly service fee. That was a revolution! I suppose there are others here who could comment in more detail on that wave. (Udo Noll, are you here on nettime? I remember the first time we met in Köln in 1996 at your company Digital Online Media, a local internet access company -- I was so thankful for a 'normal' connection inyour offices there, what I was used to in the US, at least.) Back then, I was based in the Nordic countries mostly, although I did a lot of guest teaching in central Europe at the time, along with random time in the US.

When doing a month-long residency at the Muthesium Kunst Hochschule in Kiel, in 1996- or 7, running a workshop 'networking and creativity' or such, the building with the computer lab did *not* have an internet connection -- so when inquiries were made of Deutsche Telekom to activate the connection (almost literally flicking a switch in the main building, the cabling was already installedfrom the main building to the lab building). DT wanted something like 15K Dmarks for the 'service' -- such was their monopoly position!


On 01/Aug/17 18:03, Yvette Johnson wrote:
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Dr. John Hopkins, BSc, MFA, PhD
hanging on to the Laramide Orogeny
twitter: @neoscenes

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