World-NET (www.worldnet.net) was the first French Internet service provider (along with FranceNet) for the general public in France.
It operated from 1994 to 2002. Sébastien Socchard, Philippe Langlois, and Pierre Séguret created SCT World-NET on February 15, 1994 after a trip to the United States where Internet access was taking off. At that time, the only existing professional Internet service provider in France was Oléane. There was no service available to individuals. World-Net replaced the computer security company SCT (Security Concept and Technology, an EURL created on October 9, 1988). Franck Arnal and Franck Landais soon joined Sébastien Socchard to help launch the service. Connection fees were initially 80 francs per hour, and then on November 11, 1994 they changed to 230 francs per month. World-Net’s websites were worldnet.fr and worldnet.net.
On September 15, 1994, for the first time in France, tens of thousands of connection kits offering three hours of free Internet access were distributed in the computer magazines InfoPC and Le Monde Informatique (an IDG group publication). Millions of CDs were subsequently distributed in several French magazines. In October 1994, World-Net had to handle the influx of 1,000 new subscribers, which overloaded its equipment. Even so, PC Expert named World-Net the “best Internet service provider” that same month.
In the next two years, the WorldNET Access Internet connection kit was distributed in more than 30 books published by Sybex and Mc Millan. The kit was first provided on floppy disks, and then on CD-ROMs. World-Net was a pioneer in the emerging general public Internet access market, with innovations such as the first connection kit and the launch of an unlimited connection package costing 99 francs. It was also the first in France to provide “personal pages” and to enable faxing to e-mail accounts.
News Paper articles on WORLD-NET
Memorabilia and Archives of WORLD-NET
- History of Internet in France
- Interview with Sébastien Socchard (in French)
- Rich Celebs- Xavier Niel on World-Net
- New York Times- avier Niel : The Billionare who breaks the mold
- Information on Societies : WorldNET
- Registry of Commerce and Societies – Security Concept and Technology
- Registry of Commerce and Societies – WorldNET