City types can now take advantage of the Square Mile's first walk- in Internet facility. The premises in the recently refurbished section of Bishopsgate that was devastated by an IRA bomb are not quite as trendy as those in the Net cafes that have sprung up in London's West End, but nevertheless the idea is catching on.

The service is based in the Chartered Institute of Banking's library, and Joe Tarrant, the librarian, says its presence beside the institute's prominent bookshop is helping to fuel interest.

The terminal, a high-performance model that enables swift access to the Internet, has been provided by BusinessNet, a well-established supplier of high-speed Internet services to the City. Any member of the public can walk in and search for information.

Bill Pickering of BusinessNet said at the time the service started late last year: "This is the first public Internet browsing facility in the City. The response has been tremendous. It surprised us how few people knew just what the Internet has to offer."

However, Mr Tarrant said he was surprised to learn how many of the people visiting the facility had computers and modems at home. He believes that once word gets around, interest will be overwhelming.

Mr Tarrant believes that the Internet facility can help the library to provide training materials for members taking examinations. Users can access services such as Maid and the Financial Times Profile, as well as trawl through Web specialist sites.

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