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Demon Internet

Last Edit: 12/08/19

Demon Internet are one of the UK's earliest commercial Internet Service Providers: founded in June 1992. Just as with Pipex -- the oldest commercial UK ISP -- Demon Internet grew out of a computer software company: named Demon Systems. The founders of Demon Internet are credited as: Grahame Davies, Cliff Stanford, and Owen Manderfield. Demon Internet has played on its satanic brand name, using the marketing blurb "Devilishly good broadband", and originally considered using "666" within its early dialup connection service. The BBC reported in 1998 -- when Demon Internet were sold -- that the ISP was launched from a boiler room of a cinema in Southend, Essex, and that the firm cost under £30,000 to setup. When the Demon Internet project was first launched in 1992, it was sometimes referred to as "Tenner a Month" Internet, and the initial projection was to attract a few hundred Internet subscribers. When Demon Internet was first launched, the World Wide Web had only just been launched -- it was unknown by the general public -- and, therefore, it is not surprising that Demon Internet's early ambitions for the service were humble. While Demon Internet was not the first commercial UK ISP -- Pipex are generally credited as being the first -- Demon Internet was probably the first commercial UK ISP that was priced competitively for residential users rather than businesses/education institutions etc. When Demon Internet was launched, many operating systems did not, by standard, support TCP/IP; the software systems that the Internet "runs" upon. Bare in mind, when Windows 95 was originally launched in the UK, it still did not support TCP/IP. However, Demon Internet innovated so that their service was available on: MS-DOS, Commodore Amiga, Archimedes, OS/2 Warp, Atari ST, Linux and Apple Mac.

Demon Internet Logo, an ISP founded in 1992
(Pictured: Demon Internet Logo)

Demon Internet setup disc for the Commodore Amiga
(Pictured: Demon Internet setup disc for the Commodore Amiga)

Demon Internet grew rapidly as the Internet gained prominence in the mid-late 1990's. In 1995, it was reported in the media that Grahame Davies and Owen Manderfield had left Demon Internet and Demon Systems, and a financial settlement was agreed with Cliff Stanford. This did not hamper the growth of the company, in 1996, they began a shirt sponsorship agreement with Fulham FC. In 1998, the BBC reported that Cliff Stanford had sold Demon Internet to ScottishPower for £66 million. When Demon Internet were sold in 1998, Roy Bliss, managing director of Demon, claimed the company had 180,000 subscribers. Demon Internet were acquired by Cable & Wireless Worldwide in 2010, and Vodafone in 2012. Vodafone are the current owners of Demon. On the 12th of August 2019, the Demon Internet homepage stated: "We would like to inform you that Demon Broadband is no longer available to purchase as both a new customer and an existing customer. This is the first stage of a decommissioning programme for the ageing infrastructure that delivers the Demon Broadband Service. Over the year ahead we’ll be contacting existing Demon Broadband customers to set out specific timescales for them and wherever possible offer suitable alternative services."