by Christopher Calnek
with the very popular latte, the next time you walk into your neighborhood
café youll probably see a public Internet terminal. According
to Media Metrix, a leader in Internet market research, over 100 million
Americans currently have Internet access, and 1 in 4 Americans use
the Internet on a daily basis. While most users currently access the
net from their home or office, public use is fast increasing.
Several companies have tried to create a business in providing Internet
access in public places. PIX, the Public Internet eXchange, is a great
PIX manufactures attractive and reliable Internet payphones.
These terminals are sleek, stainless-steel-and-glass free-standing
computers that are connected to the Internet by high-speed lines.
As if that werent enough, these units are touch screen. PIX
offers consumers fast and reliable Internet access and lets them:
> Check their E-Mail
> Play games alone or in tournaments
> Check stock quotes
> Get driving or walking directions
> Find movie showtimes and buy movie tickets
> Access the Internet, and a host of other services
All this can be done from the comfort of a users favorite coffee
shop. PIX is currently deploying its service throughout New York City.
While the café customer enjoys the ability to stay connected,
having a PIX unit represents many distinct advantages to the Café
owner as well.
Perhaps the most important advantage that PIX offers café owners
is that it provides a service that customers want. It allows them
to get access to e-mail and Internet services that enhance the quality
of their visit to participating stores. At the same time, the units
modern good looks complement almost any décor, and never get
in the way.
PIX helps café owners by providing them with an additional
revenue stream. For café operators, having a PIX unit converts
just over 3 sq. feet of floor space into pure profit. Users pay twenty
cents a minute with a one-dollar minimum and while this may not seem
like much, a café with healthy daily traffic can expect to
make several thousand dollars a year from the machine. Users pay by
credit card, pre-pay card, or even using cash in some locations.
PIX also gives café owners cutting edge technology at no cost
to them. The unit itself, high-speed DSL line, service, and maintenance
are all provided by PIX for free for the life of the machine. All
the venue does is provide the electricity, the metered amount of which
is equal to that of a coffee pot.
PIX is a service that café customers use again and again. Grabbing
a cup of coffee before work or at lunch has become part of the daily
routine for many consumers; checking email is fast becoming another
one. PIX increases traffic to the store by about 5-10% per month.
And, 35% of PIX users are repeat customers, who frequent the venue
again and again. PIX says its studies show that the repeat customers
increase their average monthly purchasing by about 80% as a result
of their visits.
of sales and venue relations, Christopher Calnek has worked with the
Public Internet Exchange from its inception. Recently, he has focused
on expanding the network to include many of New Yorks most prestigious
hotels among which are the Algonquin Hotel and the New York Palace
Hotel. When asked where he saw public Internet usage in the next three
years and how it would affect America he responded, Let them
eat cake, drink coffee and surf the web. Calneks backgound
is in event-management and marketing consultancy, with an emphasis
on lifestyle products. He has worked with such clients as Camel Tobacco,
Moet et Chandon, and Bombay Sapphire Gin. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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