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
Germany also has a teletext system named,
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