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There were still six million terminals owned by France Télécom, which had been left with their users in order to avoid recycling problems.
The main uses were banking and financial services, which benefit from Minitel's security features, and access to professional databases.
The government did however enact a tax on pornographic online services.
Payment methods France Télécom charged Minitel users at rates of up to €1 a minute on their monthly telephone bill.
The service became available in metropolitan Paris in December 1983.
Developed by 10,000 companies, in 1996, almost 26,000 different services were available.
France Télécom mentions, as an example of usage, that 12 million updates to personal "carte vitale" health-care cards were made through Minitel.
It was accessible through the phone number 11; on 18 October 1996 (new French numbering system adopted), the access to the phone directory changed to 3611.
In 1991, the "Minitel Website" for the Paris Sony Stores contained already over 100 pages.
Today the 3611 Minitel Directory is widely replaced by the online white or yellow pages, available through the websites Pagesjaunes.fr/(Groupe Pages Jaunes SA) or in English Yellowpages.fr/(Groupe Phonebook of the World).