Charge by the minute for internet?

Apr 11th, 2002, 07:51 AM
  #1  
etoile
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Charge by the minute for internet?

I know internet connection in France used to charge by the minute. Is this still true?
And how does minitel compare to being on the www - does it give you just as much access?
 
Apr 11th, 2002, 08:17 AM
  #2  
Rex
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I don't know who you mean by "they" when you say charge by the minute.
France Telecom does have some very handy internet stations in some public spaces (for example many Ibis hotels in the lobby), and you can use the same Telecarte that you use for pay phones for normal calls - - and this deducts by the minute for your connect time to the internet. Highly recommended.

The average cybercafe charges in 15 or 30 minute increments, though a few of them are going to a card-based system where it deducts from your pre-paid balance for usage by the minute.

And personally I dont think that minitel compares with true internet at all. Okay for looking up certain numeric info (or other all-text info) like schedules or weather or directory assistance. But can't really browse web sites.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Apr 11th, 2002, 08:41 AM
  #3  
Don
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Paris has several EasyEverything Internet places that provides relatively cheap Internet access:

http://www.easyeverything.com/map/par.html

Hope this helps...
 
Apr 11th, 2002, 08:31 PM
  #4  
top
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topping
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 03:13 AM
  #5  
x
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rex where did the op write "they"?
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 04:01 AM
  #6  
Rex
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<<internet connection in France used to charge by the minute>>

I was using "they" as a shorter way of saying "internet connection in France"

I can't tell if the question is asking about internet connection by telephone from a residence, or from a public facility.

I wasn't very clear about what I couldn't quite understand.
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 09:24 AM
  #7  
greg
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I have seen all types of charge schemes. It is NOT true that "France charges by the minute."

I have seen a setup where one sticks in a credit card and get charged by whatever increment they choose to charge.

I have used a setup where the proprietor sets up a timer on the PC in 30 min increment to get connected to the internet.

The most common one I used were least low tech, the owner sells the time in 30 min increment and sort of keeps track of usage. One time, when we bought enough food and drinks in the eating section of the cafe, they didn't even bother to charge us for the 30min use of the internet.
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 11:11 AM
  #8  
up
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upping
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 11:32 AM
  #9  
clairobscur
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Yes, internet cnnection in France is charged by the minute by France Telecom, though you can pay a fixed price for a given number or hours or for a given duration or things like that (for instance I use DSL, and pay a monthly fee without time limit).

ISPs usually offer such schemes (one would pay a given price including both what the ISP and France-Telecom charge, and allowing you to surf for a given number of hours. If you exceed this time limit you'll be billed by France-Telecom by the minute again)

As for the minitel : it's somewhat similar in concept to the internet, but very different and much less technologically advanced. The minitel appeared 20 years ago and basically didn't change at all. It was great as long as the internet wasn't around. One must understand that the minitel don't give you an access to internet sites, but only to minitel sites. Also, a minitel screen has a very low resolution, so it looks more like a computer screen 20 years ago : no pictures, for instance, on minitel sites.

The minitel has still an advantage. One pay minitel access by minute (like the internet in france) but this include what is charged by France-Telecom PLUS what is charged by the site owner (France-Telecom then pay its share to the site owner). The part charged by the site owner can range from zero to say 1$/minute. Yes, it's an advantage because it allows commercial sites to exist, which can provide a service and actually charge you for using it, something you can't do on the net without registering, paying in advance, etc...You use it, you pay, you don't use it, you don't pay (there are no "providers" on the minitel, either).

Apart from these professionnal sites, the minitel hasn't anymore an added value compared to the internet. I didn't have a minitel for many years now (though I can access to the minitel by my computer directly, but I don't even do that anymore). Now, quite all services provided on the minitel are provided also on the internet (for instance train schedules, or chat-rooms or whatever) since all companies have opened internet sites long time ago. Those services which doesn't exist on the internet (like the pay sites refered above) I've personnally no use for.

Now, there are certainly still people using the minitel. But mostly people who don't have a computer, or for some reason aren't willing to check out the internet for some reason, I would assume.


To sum up, the minitel was a great thing, and probably revolutionnary *at its time* (beginning of the 80's). Now, it's outdated, and with some little exceptions, much less convenient and useful than the internet.
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 11:44 AM
  #10  
clairobscur
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I forgot to add that one of the major reason for the minitel success was that it was provided for free (a minitel being basically a little screen with a keyboard attached) for many years by France Telecom.

So many many people took one and checked it out. You just had to plug it in and you could begin to "surf" (not that this word was ever used for the minitel)while for the internet you have to buy a computer, to understand at least in a very basic way how a computer works, to find a provider and usually pay it, etc...
 
Apr 12th, 2002, 12:26 PM
  #11  
clairobscur
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Someone just told be what I wrote about the usefulness of paying minitel site was unclear. So, I'm going to give an example : a minitel site which quite ofren advertize on french TV owns a database including financial informations about private companies. They target very casual users (not a large company which would have other means to access to this kind of infos), for instance the owner of a small business who had a new unknow client popping up, or someone who just receive a job offer and want to know how reliable the potential client/employer is.

So, the user will just have to switch on his minitel, enter the "minitel adress" and check the database. He will be billed for the time he spend on the site, and it will be included in his next phone bill. So, it's quite convenient. Also, of course, there are astrology, sex, etc...minitel sites which offer their "services" in the same way a paying phone line would.

This kind of pay per use site is according to some professionnals, something lacking on the internet (I would say personnally: hopefully!If it existed, perhaps there would be some new sites with an added value on the net, but I'm affraid that pretty much everybody would then want us to pay for any access to any website).

Also, since the minitel is older than the internet (at least as long as widespread use is concerned), some organizations in france have minitel sites more comprehensives than their relatively new web sites (it's the case for instance, with many governmental sites). But one expect it won't be the case anymore in the near future.
 

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