CapAccess was an early Internet service provider based in Washington, DC. It was founded in 1992 with funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and George Washington University.[1] The service charged a one-time fee of $25 and provided users with access to internet e-mail, gopher, and text-based access to the world wide web.[2] In 1995, management of the system was taken over by WETA,[1] the PBS station based in Washington.

Initially, access to the network was available via dial-up over telephone lines. In 1998, users could access the system via telnet. [3] In 2001, the system was given an overhaul and was converted from text-based to graphical, with the usage of the FirstClass platform.[4]

CapAccess played a large part in connecting governmental and educational organizations to the internet in its infancy. As time went on, Internet access became accessible from a number of commercial Internet service providers. With the advent of broadband Internet, there was no reason for WETA to continue to support CapAccess, and it was shut down in 2009.


  1. ^ a b Swisher, Kara (September 21, 1995). "WETA To Manage CapAccess Area Computer Network". Washington Post.
  2. ^ Pegoraro, Rob (July 25, 1997). "Free-Mail: Getting an E-mail Address Without Getting Into Debt". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ "CapAccess Homepage". Archived from the original on December 2, 1998.
  4. ^ "CapAccess Homepage". Archived from the original on September 23, 2001.