Home Business-new Cybercafés that boomed in Mérida during the 2000s go extinct

Cybercafés that boomed in Mérida during the 2000s go extinct

by Yucatan Times
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Demand drops, with more than 50 percent of cybercafés in Mérida. These places, where computers are rented by the hour, had a boom in the 2000s. However, according to those in charge of these places, over 80 percent of the locations have had to close due to a lack of customers, in addition to technological advancements. But there are still students and office workers seeking the service.

Due to the widespread access to the internet from homes and connectivity in public spaces, visits to these establishments have decreased by over 50 percent. Some have had to include various services to stay afloat.

Ramiro Alfaro mentioned that in 2010, he opened his first cybercafé, where he served more than 80 people daily with 10 machines, generating daily earnings of up to 1,200 pesos. This led him to open five more locations. However, now he only has two left.

“Back then, that money was a lot. Electricity wasn’t as expensive, and computer maintenance wasn’t either, so it was a very good business. Now, anyone can have internet at home or connect in parks from their phones. So, hardly anyone comes,” he commented.

On the other hand, Ángel Uicab emphasized that the arrival of mobile devices and affordable internet connections have been factors resulting in the failure of these businesses.

“At the beginning of this boom, which was around 2010 to 2017, cybercafés offered high-speed internet for browsing and machines that were very powerful and fast for that time. Moreover, having internet at home was a sign of affluence because it wasn’t wireless, so you could only have one. But now, with cellphones and tablets starting at 2,000 pesos and laptops, as well as Wi-Fi, everything has changed. There’s internet everywhere you go, in the square, in the park, in cafes, everywhere, and the worst part is that it’s free, which has affected us,” he said.

Meanwhile, managers of downtown establishments noted that people still come for various services, and computers have been adapted to continue serving.

“Now, most people come for copies and printing, which is in high demand, especially because many have computers but very few have printers. Many places around here have been closing for the same reason; foot traffic has dropped by more than 50 percent. In addition, many computers have been sold for parts or repair, electricity is another expense, maintenance, all that takes a toll,” they concluded.

TYT Newsroom

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