"France’s Minitel service ended its 34-year run on June 30, 2012. Introduced in the pre-World Wide Web age, the Minitel presaged many services that eventually were delivered via the Internet including online banking, travel reservations... At the height of its popularity in the 1990s, there were nine million terminals in use in France, serving roughly 25 million people (the population of France, at that time, was 60 million). As the service was shut down today, France Télécom estimated that there were still 600,000 in use. The Minitel put France at the forefront of telecommunications when it was rolled out nationwide in the early 1980s (it started out as a trial in Brittany in 1978)...In the 1990s, there were as many as 26,000 different services available including chat, information services for news, weather, sports, and stocks, online commerce, telephone directory search, university applications, access to government information, and e-mail. Companies included “36 15” numerals in advertisements and the prefix had a similar meaning to the dot-com suffix today."