First Internet café opens in Kabul

Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) has opened Afghanistan's first Internet café in the Intercontinental Hotel, Kabul. Offering broadband access from eleven workstations, the Internet café was piloted by AWCC during the time of the recent Loya Jirga (grand assembly) in Kabul.

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By  Richard Brown Published  August 8, 2002

Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) has opened Afghanistan's first Internet cafe in the Intercontinental Hotel, Kabul. Offering broadband access from eleven workstations, the Internet café was piloted by AWCC during the time of the recent Loya Jirga (grand assembly) in Kabul.

Journalists and other attendees of the Loya Jirga were seen using the adjacent Internet facilities provided by AWCC.

Interest in the café is expected to be high following the popularity of the GSM mobile phone service launched by AWCC in April this year. Like the cellular phone network, readily available Internet connectivity is seen as a highly significant step towards restoring commercial and cultural mobility for Afghans inside and outside the country.

Commented a local Kabul resident: "I used to send letters and photographs to my family in The Netherlands which usually took at least 10 days to arrive. The Internet café means that I can now send an e-mail and photographs over the Internet and my family can see them the same day."

In the coming months, Internet connectivity will expand in tandem with AWCC's deployment of communication systems to the main cities and provincial capitals of Afghanistan.

Ehsan Bayat, an Afghan émigré and AWCC's founder says: "The launch of the first Internet café is part of AWCC's strategy to bring voice and data communications to the people of Afghanistan.”

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