Issue No. 01 - Jan.-Mar. (2016 vol. 38)
DOI Bookmark: http://doi.ieeecomputersociety.org/10.1109/MAHC.2015.54
Julien Mailland , Indiana University
In 1981, videotex and virtual circuits were the hot computer network technologies and promised to bring the world to the masses. Amid a worldwide battle over standards, France started Minitel, which quickly became the first successful mass-market digital information-distribution ecosystem. In 1991, France Telecom launched the American version of Minitel, 101 Online, in San Francisco. 101 Online was as massive a failure as Minitel had been a success. This article reveals the previously undocumented history of the 101 Online ecosystem, suggests reasons why it failed where Minitel had succeeded, and draws lessons for the current policy debate on what information-network architecture and implementation best fosters digital innovation.
Telecommunication services, Biographies, History, Companies, Computer industry, Videotex, Virtual circuits
J. Mailland, "101 Online: American Minitel Network and Lessons from Its Failure," in IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 6-22, 2016.