Prestel badge

Contributed by Peter Bury

Twenty years before MSN, Google, Amazon and the rest of the internet was heard of BT launched the first interactive information and communication service. In 1979 Prestel linked your phone line with your TV and offered a range of business and leisure applications including news, travel, messaging, online shopping, bulletin boards and even lonely hearts. The technology was leading edge - which meant a download speed of 1200 bits (not Megabits!) per second and simple text and graphics characters displayed on your TV. Despite these limitations, Prestel faced and solved many of the problems that the Internet still wrestles with - like security, censorship, competing technical standards and how to make money from information services. The pioneering Prestel users of 1979 saw the first glimmers of the powerful and sophisticated online services that we know today - and were hooked just like we are. This badge from 1979 shows the Prestel logo - which appeared on your TV screen as coloured letters on the black screen.

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