Internet access is the means by which individual terminals, computers, mobile devices, and local area networks are connected to the global Internet. Internet access is usually sold by Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that use many different technologies offering a wide range of data rates to the end user. Consumer use first became popular through dial-up connections in the 1980s and 1990s. By the first decade of the 21st century, many consumers had switched away from dial-up to dedicated connections, most Internet access products were being marketed using the term "broadband", and broadband penetration was being treated as a key economic indicator.
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“Power, in Cases world, meant corporate power. The zaibatsus, the multinationals ..., had ... attained a kind of immortality. You couldnt kill a zaibatsu by assassinating a dozen key executives; there were others waiting to step up the ladder; assume the vacated position, access the vast banks of corporate memory.”
—William Gibson (b. 1948)