Anne Ruthmann/Flickr

La vida en la ciudad de Uber

LONDRES – Mais oui! Como sabe todo estudiante francés de quinto de primaria, la red Internet fue inventada en París. Se llamaba Minitel, abreviación de Médium interactif par numérisation d’information téléphonique, red de casi nueve millones de terminales que permitía a personas y organizaciones conectarse entre sí e intercambiar información en el presente. Minitel tuvo un auge durante los decenios de 1980 y 1990, pues alimentó diversas aplicaciones en línea que se anticiparon al frenesí mundial de las punto-com. Después cayó en una lenta decadencia y al final fue desmantelada después de que la red Internet “real” se alzara hasta el predominio mundial.

Tanto Minitel como Internet se basaron en la creación de redes de información digital. Sin embargo, sus estrategias de aplicación diferían enormemente. Minitel era un sistema vertical, un importante empeño lanzado por el servicio de correos y el organismo nacional de telecomunicaciones de Francia. Funcionó bien, pero sus posibilidades de crecimiento e innovación estaban necesariamente limitadas por su rígida estructura y sus protocolos privados.

En cambio, la red Internet evolucionó en la dirección contraria y logró librarse de las peticiones iniciales de reglamentación formuladas por las gigantescas empresas de telecomunicaciones. En última instancia, llegó a ser el caótico, pero revolucionario, factor de cambio mundial que conocemos en la actualidad (“un regalo de Dios”, como ha dicho recientemente el papa Francisco).

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