Do you ever wonder what technology will have been developed in twenty years time? The discovery of an internet bench in a park in Bury St Edmunds has triggered this blog post. I like visiting cathedrals, and have visited Ely and Norwich recently, and was looking forward to looking inside St Edmundsbury Cathedral, but on the day I chose to go it was closed due to a local beer and cider festival taking place in the vicinity. I decided to explore the Abbey gardens instead, where the ruins of Bury St Edmunds Abbey remain.
Whilst looking at the Holocaust Memorial here, I noticed a bench near by that had a brass plaque that bore the inscription “The World’s First Internet Bench”. The bench was installed in the park in 2001 as part of an initiative between MSN.co.uk and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, to offer internet connectivity to the public. The ‘Cyber Seat’ as it became known offered free plug points for wires to connect laptops to the internet. It is hard to imagine that this was just 20 years ago, and in 2021 internet connectivity and wifi is a huge part of everyday living. So think ahead to 2041 and just imagine what might be possible.