A history (from memory, I could be wrong):
1) Got an install CD from WOW! – “the first online service for windows 95″ (then a pretty new OS) It was the first time I had seen a fixed monthly rate for the internet. Signed up for the free month, and shortly realized that I wanted an Internet Service Provider, not an Online Service.
2) Used WOW to research real ISPs. Ended up deciding on Internet MCI. Ordered installation diskettes, and canceled WOW before I paid anything.
2) Internet MCI sold to Cable and Wireless.
3) Cable and Wireless said that Internet MCI didn’t fulfill their contract for the move. And apparently, C&W wasn’t making any money either. So they sold their accounts to Prodigy.net (which used to be an online service, but is now just an ISP with a web portal.)
4) Prodigy.net announced that it is either selling to or becoming (not sure yet) SBC Yahoo Dial.
Huh. That was fewer steps than I thought ;^)