France Télécom to Bid Adieu to Minitel

Next year, Minitel—France’s precursor to the Internet—will finally meet its maker.

For 30 years the toaster-sized screen weathered the Internet revolution. Despite a text-only service, basic graphics and snail-like speed, the terminal generated €30 million ($43.1 million) in revenue in 2010, with around 85 percent redistributed to service providers such as banks and weather forecasters, according to France Télécom SA, which operates the service.

Despite the service still being profitable, the telecommunications operator has decided to swing the axe. “The Minitel will die on June 30, 2012,” said a France Télécom spokeswoman on Friday, explaining that the architecture the Minitel runs on has become obsolete.

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