When the Internet became popular, business users are finding it more and more essential to stay connected to the Internet and more so to their company's server whether it's for database access or simply just email. In the past, business executives who travel often find a need to stay connected especially when information and communication is important in staying competitive.
In the past, notebook users often depended on the modem to stay connected. Then, users use a discrete PC card solution which plugs into the notebook's PCMCIA slot. With just a maximum transfer rate of about 56kbps (if the user is lucky), it is normally all that the user depended on for all their email and Internet usage needs.
It was when 56K modems became popular that it began to appear as a standard built-in accessory in notebooks. At the same time, we saw users began using Ethernet, not so much for connectivity while traveling, but rather as a standard connectivity option for business users who often need high speed access in the office. It was the advent of large content feeds that brought users to use more of Ethernet that we saw how standard Ethernet speeds increased from 10Mbps to 100Mbps.
When wired Ethernet became more pervasive, we saw manufacturers quickly adding Ethernet as a standard accessory in modern notebooks. Hotels also began offering wired Internet connection through a standard RJ-45 Ethernet port. It was also the time where users began to enjoy broadband Internet that led to exciting usage such as Internet Phone, Video Conferencing and Video Webcasts. Today, users depend on broadband so much that it's nearly impossible to conduct any email or file downloads with yesteryear's 56K modem.