When discussing Internet history, many within the United States believe the creation myth of an Internet born in Silicon Valley. But aspects of the Internet that we use for shopping, financial transactions, and social interactions, among other things, have roots in technological advances from other countries. In particular, 15 years before most Americans were online, the French government backed a communications technology, the Minitel, that revolutionized social, political, and financial interactions. In Minitel: Welcome to the Internet
(MIT Press, 2017), Julien Mailland
and Kevin Driscoll
discuss the creation and spread of the Minitel and the particular influence it had on France, and ultimately what we call the Internet. In so doing the authors offer lessons for current regulatory debates.