In the fall of 1977, the Deutsch Bundespost in the Federal Republic of Germany (commonly called West Germany at the time) contracts with British Telecom to implement Prestel in Germany.
     Technical trials begin in 1978, but due to a variety of problems the first public trials don't begin until June 1980 when 6,000 terminals are rolled out in Berlin and Dusseldorf.
     The Germans improve the British design tremendously. One innovation is the introduction of "gateways," which stop the system from depending solely on large, central computers. Instead, user requests are permitted to pass through the central computers to other, private databases existing elsewhere. It utilizes packet-switching for data transmission efficiency and amounts to an early version of internetworking. The first of these gateways is introduced in October, 1980.
     Germany also has a teletext system named, confusingly, Videotext.

Go back to the Online Timeline