Ellisons phone give-away fallacy (July 1996)

Ellison’s idea that these things could be given away by phone companies is reminiscent of France Telecom’s strategy with the Minitel, a forerunner of the NC. The Minitel is an alphanumeric terminal and extremely slow (1200/70 baud) modem generates $1.5 billion in revenues per year. This is through astronomically high costs per byte transmitted (typically 100 x Internet rates) and an extreme laissez-faire policy which means that up to 90% of Minitel traffic is dating and porn.

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