Before ... 1964 a spectecular Country Code for France +33 / International Direct Dialing

1974 Valery Giscard d'Estaing becomes President

President Valery Giscard d´Estaing
Valery Giscard d´Estaing
President 1974 - 1981

When elected in 1974
the new President Valery Giscard d´Estaing
has the intention to boost France´s retarded telecom network.

PTT Telecom

1979 the Minitel was invented by the French engineer
Jean Yves Pouchard.
The french government had the plan to
quickly replace printed "pages blanches" / "white pages"
by the new "annuaire electronique" ...

Minitel service starts in July 1980 in Saint Malo with 55 test users.
A year later 4000 minitels are distributed to
phone subscribers in the French departement Ille et Vilaine.

1981 François Mitterrand continues the Minitel project

President Francois Mitterrand
Francois Mitterrand
President 1981 - 1995

President Francois Mitterrand (1981 Mai 10)
changes many things in France.
But in what concerns French Technology
he continues to push the TGV (High Speed Trains)
and the Minitel, both initiated before him by Giscard d´Estaing.

The Minitel is officially launched,
two month after the presidential election
1981 July 10.

becomes the acces number (later 3611)
for directory service via Minitel,
12 the number for the renseignements telephoniques via operator.

The Minitel,
invented by
Jean Yves Pouchard
was in some way
the grandfather
of the Internet
Screenshot of
a Minitel
Phonebook page
Annuaire Minitel
1 42211111
a Minitel
Phonebook website
designed in 1991
by Ben Solms, editor of
and Perrine Adenot
and Romiro Vueira Cuevras
from ODA (now Pagesjaunes SA)

The Minitel Directory becomes a major commercial success.
Half of the French population is actively using Minitel
by the turn of the century.
In the early 1990s France is ahead in
"Internet" Telecommunication Technologies.

The Internet itself already exists in the US
but it´s usage is very limited
until the 1992 election of President Bill Clinton
and the 1994 October 20 launch of the website

NB The US Gouvernment infamously misses the registration
of the may 21 1997 domain
(for many years a porn site ... see background story)

Next ... 1986 Return of a Story ...
Telecom returns to the old VB mansion
iconic Sony Phones