[3615 RIP] The Minitel permanently disconnected
Dead and buried the Minitel? Well no, not yet! Well almost…
Born in 1982, the Minitel reached its peak at the very beginning of the 2000s when it had nearly 25 million users for 6 million terminals. Today, despite the overwhelming predominance of the internet, a few 420,000 die-hard users persist in using it.
However, tomorrow, after 30 years of existence, the Minitel will definitely be included in “The history of digital technology”. Indeed, at the end of the day on Saturday, “the last Minitel codes will be deactivated in Rennes, where the latest technical equipment is located,” explains Karin Lefèvre-Gautier, director of multimedia kiosks at Orange, cited in 20 minutes.
A true star of French households in the 90s and 2000s, the definitive end of Minitel is today arousing real enthusiasm on the part of the media, all of which underline its decisive role in the development of the French Internet.
The Expansion recalls that the main figures of the national web have been able to create their business thanks to this technology. Among them: Xaviel Niel, current CEO of Free, Marc Simoncini, founder of Meetic and Sensee, or Henri Crohas, at the head of Archos and Jean David Blanc from Allociné. The article thus explains how the fructification of Minitel revenues constituted “a fertile soil for the French web »
20 minutes, underlines, for its part, the importance of the device in ‘the digital education of the French’. First of all at the level of uses. At the time, Minitel offered many services that can be found on the Internet today, such as ticket offices, directories, the press, administrative services or even games and pink messengers. But also in terms of vocabulary. The words “navigate” or “page” actually come from Minitel.
The article also points to France’s progress in this area. Indeed, France was one of the first countries to democratize the Minitel, after various failures in the United States, Germany and Great Britain. The reason for the success? A high-quality network and devices distributed almost free of charge.