Now, however, any personal computer user (Mac or PC) with a modem can use the Internet by getting an account with one of several local Internet service providers. Most charge a one-time set-up fee of about $20 and then a monthly charge of less than $20, which can be automatically billed to a credit card.
Having an Internet account provides you with unlimited connection time to the Internet through a local phone number, as well as the ability to send and receive e-mail throughout the world. Getting an Internet account is as simple as dialing a special number with your modem and registering on-line. Within hours you will be able to begin exploring the Internet.
Learning to navigate the Internet isn't easy, and most new users will want to either take a class or plan on spending a lot of hours experimenting. But once familiar with it, the Internet provides access to literally thousands of computer systems with information on virtually any topic imaginable, including thousands of "newsgroups" where you can exchange information with others.
The Palo Alto Weekly plans on sponsoring Internet training in the future; watch the paper for further details.
Here are a few of the local Internet service providers that offer local access telephone numbers:
NETCOM: For information call (408) 554-8649. To register on-line call (415) 328-9940.
Portal Communications: For information call (408) 973-9111. To register on-line call (415) 965-8059.
CRL: For information call (415) 381-2800. No on-line registration.
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