XS4ALL is 20 years old now. I was not among the first though, because in that time I chose for that other internet-provider that provided UUCP, a massive collection of newsgroups and static IP-addresses, Demon Internet. Although I have used broadband cable connections when they became available I never ditched my Demon account until I switched to XS4ALL, for Demon was not going to deliver broadband. And Demon in the Netherlands got acquired by XS4ALL anyway later on.
For me these providers where the start of the public internet, although we where using it years before. Which means that the public internet as we know and use it today is only 20 years old. It doesn’t sound like a lot but in technology it is an awful lot.
20 years is not only the public internet, but also cell-phone technology. Cell-phones in that time were real transmitters, huge and with a battery lifetime of minutes. In time the two technologies came together until we can not separate them anymore. The mobile internet is the fastest growing market today. Who would have thought that 20 years ago? Who can predict what the internet will look like in 20 years? I certainly can’t.