My first true Internet exposure was in the mid-eighties when I worked for Bell South and was introduced to the technology and the world of TCP/IP. Actually it was TCP at that time.
I had done email for years using IBM's PROFS system and DEC systems.
My first home, non-work related, was the old Compuserv system using an IBM PC. I think that was around 1986. They provided email and file sharing and file transfer. It expanded to full Internet sometime in the late eighties. However it was expensive and work would only pay for "work related" use.
I tried Prodigy but really didn't like it and then later I used AOL. Where I lived it was the only option and I, to this day, DETEST AOL.
In the late 90's I went to work for a Bell South division and I had a full T1 1.5megabits/second dedicated line into my house. I was in heaven for the next seven years. I switched companies during that time and they picked up the tab for the T1 because there was no DSL or cable in my area. While others were using dial-up I was surfing the Internet at speeds no home user had or even hoped for. Now I'm on DSL and it is getting slower by the month as more people are added to our DSLAM.
BTW: Al Gore did not invent the Internet and he actually never said he did. Sort of like how Sarah Palin is quoted as saying "I can see Russia from my house". Gore did sponsor quite a bit of technology legislation, in the 80's and 90's that did open the door for commercial use of the Internet and also to encourage and expand the building of systems to support it.