Nearly 30 years after pioneering the Minitel information service that enabled millions of French users to access online directory listings, stock reports, train reservations and other data from their homes, officials of France Telecom (FT) confirmed this week that the popular offering will be discontinued next year, a victim of the broadband Internet age. Minitel—a text-only, copper-line “videotext” service that operates via a toaster-size terminal with a monochrome screen—was launched by FT in 1982 as part of a government-sponsored initiative to promote paperless means of disseminating information. Despite the emergence of the Internet in the 1990s and broadband services a decade later, Minitel enjoyed widespread popularity through 2002 when subscribership peaked at more than nine million French households. Although Minitel has been far outpaced in recent years by web-based services that offer vastly higher speeds as well as a plethora of content and data options, the service still managed to net FT an impressive €30 million (US$43 million) in revenues during 2010. Acknowledging, however, that the architecture on which Minitel runs has become obsolete, an FT spokeswoman affirmed that “the Minitel will die on June 30, 2012.” Reflecting on Minitel’s three-decade tenure, Tariq Krim, the chief executive of French cloud computing firm Jolicloud, observed that Minitel succeeded in allowing “people all over France to access a whole new world of information,” but “its downfall was that it was a closed system that refused to adapt.”