1Prestel, British Telecom’s viewdata system based on GEC computers, has won the prestigious Australian public service contract. The system has been chosen by Telecom Australia for its new Viatel service, which will start early in 1985.

Telecom Australia’s choice of system was based on a number of factors:
• the Prestel standard is proven operationally and is already in use in Australia,
• GEC-Prestel systems are operating on a national basis in many countries including the UK,
• Prestel-compatible terminals are readily available,
• the system can be upgraded to provide new features,
• Australia will be able to draw on the UK’s experience.

More than 1 000 Prestel-type terminals are already operating on private Australian networks, and local firms will be able to supply terminals, TV-set adaptors and personal computers to work with Viatel.

The Australian decision means that ten countries have now purchased national videotex systems from GEC-Prestel.

Three GEC 4190 minicomputers will be installed at the Melbourne headquarters of Australia’s Viatel service, which will start public operations in February 1985. Each computer is capable of handling 2 000 simultaneous calls.


1983 investigations.[1]

  1. Videotex in Australia – Interactive Information Services. Australian Government Publishing Service ; 1983:2. Accessed May 26, 2016.
Systems Review. Published October 1984. Accessed August 16, 2018.