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CompuServe France headed for the knacker's yard

Horsemeat time for the grandpère of ISPs

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It might come as a surprise to some, but CompuServe, the name synonymous with the early days of the net, is still plodding on.

But not for much longer in France: owner Neuf Cegetel will hand the venerable ISP a one-way ticket to Switzerland* at the end of this month.

Neuf Cegetel acquired CompuServe when it bought AOL France's access business last year.

The few remaining subscribers got an email in September informing them ol' Compo is on its last legs. It said: "After many years of service in France we regret to advise that as of 30 November 2007 CompuServe France will no longer operate as an Internet Service Provider in this region."

The lights will be switched off forever on November 30. Users have been told to backup emails and other data before they are consigned to oblivion. Messages to CompuServe addresses won't be forwarded.

CompuServe Pacific, which was run by Fujitsu Australia, suffered the same fate on August 31.

AOL bought CompuServe in 1998. The remaining ISP subscriber base was not part of the sale of AOL's UK access business to Carphone Warehouse last year.

Although it doesn't appear possible to sign up for CompuServe on the UK homepage, a spokeswoman tells us that they do get very occasional subscriptions, and that users are supported by CompuServe's Netherlands office.

The Compuserve.co.uk homepage is now mostly just a rebadged version of the AOL portal site.

The US operation is still around, not-really-trying to flog unlimited dial-up access for $17.95 per month. AOL has told customers it won't be making the software compatible with Windows Vista, however, so it looks set to decay slowly.

Feel free to surf down memory lane at 14.4Kbit/s in our comments section. ®

*See here.

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