Anne Ruthmann/Flickr

La vie à Uber City

LONDRES – Eh oui ! Comme le savent tous les écoliers français de CM2, Internet a été inventé à Paris. Il avait alors été baptisé Minitel, abréviation de Médium interactif par numérisation d’information téléphonique, reposant sur un réseau de près de neuf millions de terminaux permettant aux individus et aux organisations d’entrer en contact et d’échanger des informations en temps réel. Le minitel a connu son apogée au cours des décennies 1980 et 1990, promouvant une diversité d’applications en ligne, selon une sorte d’anticipation de la frénésie mondiale du .com. Cette technologie est par la suite lentement tombée en désuétude, pour finalement être abandonnée après l’ascension du « véritable » Internet en direction d’une domination globale.

Le minitel et Internet ont tous deux reposé sur la création de réseaux d’informations numériques. Leurs stratégies de mise en œuvre respectives ont cependant considérablement différé. Le minitel consistait en un système vertical descendant ; effort de déploiement majeur lancé par les services postaux français et l’opérateur national des télécommunications. Bien que cet outil ait correctement fonctionné pendant un temps, son potentiel de croissance et d’innovation s’avérait nécessairement limité par l’architecture rigide et les protocoles brevetés s’y rattachant.

L’outil Internet, en revanche, a connu une évolution verticale ascendante, lui permettant d’échapper aux demandes de réglementation initiales des géants du secteur des télécommunications, devenant finalement cette révolution mondiale à la fois inéluctable et chaotique que nous connaissons aujourd’hui (véritable « don du ciel, » pour reprendre la formule récente du pape François).

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