The development of the Minitel in the early 1980s sparked the production of many services to help accommodate the needs of the people in France. This online service was accessible for many and a success up until the early 2000s. This platform allowed for the users to connect to the different services they were interested in. There were terminals placed in homes and workplaces to help better connect individuals. The Minitel provided over thousands of unique services. This was the most popular platform being used up until the world wide web had been invented. Different codes would allow for the users to be directed to different services. By typing the code 3617 ANNU into the Minitel, this would lead them to a reverse directory. If an individual only has a phone number, the reverse directory would allow them to determine the address and information of the business.
The 3617 ANNU was the first Minitel reverse directory service. This could easily identify the address or information from the telephone number alone. This included over 23 million telephone numbers along with additional fax and car numbers. This service also provided the different regions of phone numbers located all over France (Béatrice 1996). This helped determine the accurate location of the address from just the phone number. This service was very efficient and allowed individuals to find these addresses in a quick manner.
The service 3617 ANNU is published by the company Iliad. The Iliad also publishes a variety of other services all using code 3617. By using this same code within the Minitel, it will make searching for services quicker. The Iliad was run by Xavier Niel. Xavier Niel took over the company and published 3617 ANNU in 1996. Niel was a French businessman who came to riches after publishing a Minitel service called Minitel Rose in the early 1980s. This one service sparked the rise to success for both the Minitel and Niel himself. He was able to create endless opportunities for himself which led him to publish 3617 ANNU years later. He became well connected to different French internet services in the years following and was able to develop even more advanced services for the internet rather than the Minitel. The goal of the 3617 ANNU service was to be an efficient reverse directory that was able to connect individuals with phone numbers and addresses in a short period of time. Niel relatively achieved this goal; however, the service did face many issues. (Les Echos 1999)
While the 3617 ANNU service was a success, the service also faced a lawsuit by the France Telecom. The France Telecom accused this service of “hacking” the databases. The France Telecom wanted 3617 ANNU to pay 100 million francs due to the service having pirated lists from the France Telecom. Both the Iliad and France Telecom came to an agreement to settle this dispute (Barroux 1999) The Iliad would have to pay the France Telecom for the data that had been used for publishing. The two companies agreed to have the Iliad pay 22 million francs to the France Telecom over the span of three years (Le Figaro 1999).
While the service 3617 ANNU faced some hardships, the service was able to get past the piracy claims from the other businesses. This service was able to stay efficient within the Minitel and was a useful reverse directory for many years.
RIOU Béatrice. “3617 + ANNU : A QUI EST CE NUMERO DE TELEPHONE ?”. BASES . 01 mai 1996. https://advance.lexis.com/api/document?collection=news&id=urn:contentItem:4B1P-CF00-TWK5-S348-00000-00&context=1516831.
“TELECOMMUNICATIONS: Annuaires: accord amiable entre France Telecom et 3617 Annu”. Les Echos . 25 octobre 1999. https://advance.lexis.com/api/document?collection=news&id=urn:contentItem:4F8Y-BVD0-TWK5-N2PM-00000-00&context=1516831.
DAVID BARROUX. “TELECOMMUNICATIONS Un concurrent de France Telecom est lourdement condamne pour telechargementmassif des annuaires. Le concurrent, la societe MA, fait appel, mais le jugementest executoire. – Amende de 100 millions de francs pour 3617 Annu”. Les Echos . 23 juin 1999. https://advance.lexis.com/api/document?collection=news&id=urn:contentItem:4F8Y-2720-TWK5-N38T-00000-00&context=1516831..
“TELECOMMUNICATIONS; 3617 Annu condamné à verser 100 millions à France Télécom”. Le Figaro . 23 juin 1999. https://advance.lexis.com/api/document?collection=news&id=urn:contentItem:49YD-6BB0-TWK5-W2T7-00000-00&context=1516831.