Latest in Communications

Image credit:

Broadband claims another: France Telecom putting the kibosh on Minitel

Darren Murph
07.25.11
20 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

'Tis a sad, sad day for fans of all things retro. In a developed nation dominated by high-speed connections, near-ubiquitous 3G and sub-$€300 computers, it's more than a little astounding that the Minitel is just now being axed by France Télécom. Originally, the aforesaid machine was ordered by the French government in the 1970s "as part of an initiative to get people to share information and, eventually, reduce the consumption of paper." In a bid to rapidly increase adoption, the terminals -- complete with a monochrome screen and bantam keyboard -- were actually doled out to denizens free of charge, with access billed on a per-minute basis. It obviously required a phone line, and things were kept understandably simple; users rarely did more than shop for train tickets, check the occasional bank account and peruse the phone directory. Astonishingly, France's precursor to the internet still raked in €30 million in revenue last year, but the time has finally come to push existing users onto more sophisticated solutions. As of June 30, 2012, "the Minitel will die." 'Course, the service itself will be the only thing shuttered -- those memories are bound to last a lifetime.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
20 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Windows users can now log in using Yubico security keys

Windows users can now log in using Yubico security keys

View
Watch NASA's first all-woman spacewalk

Watch NASA's first all-woman spacewalk

View
US military will no longer use floppy disks to coordinate nuke launches

US military will no longer use floppy disks to coordinate nuke launches

View
SpaceX begins construction of its next-generation Starship rockets

SpaceX begins construction of its next-generation Starship rockets

View
Lebanon plans to charge a fee for internet voice calls

Lebanon plans to charge a fee for internet voice calls

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr