Re: First Quantum Link... then Usenet... now...
"And honestly, even twenty years back $10 per month was hardly unaffordable."
Yeah, but twenty years ago was 1997 after they'd started getting competition from the Internet and presumably after they'd reduced their rates. I was thinking more of the 80s and early 90s.
According to Wikipedia, Compuserve was $5 an *hour* until 1996 and something like $10 an hour earlier on, getting up to $30 an hour in some cases (at early 1980s prices!!!). It's hard to tell from the article exactly how much it cost at any time and how much of it was (e.g.) call charge overheads, but that does seem to back up my memory of reading how much it cost in the 80s and thinking "yeah, that's *horribly* expensive".
"For some of us, it was either that or international modem calls"
That still doesn't change the fact it would be only bloody expensive instead of eyewateringly expensive and misses out the most obvious third option- not being online at all because even at its cheapest it would have been bloody expensive.
I'd have *loved* a modem and being able to dial up BBSs and the like in the late 80s, but even if I'd had enough for the modem, I wouldn't have been able to afford the subscriptions or phone bills as a kid. Even circa 1993-94 when I first got on the Internet at university and was looking at trying to get access at home, there was no local number dial-up access available and it was still pretty expensive- enough that I just stuck to using the computer labs.