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France to try set-top Net access

France Telecom's goal is to offer SurfTV boxes on the ubiquitous Minitel terminals, if a new market trial of the set-tops is successful.

National telecommunications provider France Telecom has announced market trials of SurfTV, a set-top box that offers Internet access through users' television sets, based on technology from QNX Software Systems.

If the trials are successful, SurfTV will be made available to the French public using Minitel, France's current information network. French households use the ubiquitous Minitel terminals as their phone books.

SurfTV's set-top boxes are designed and manufactured by COM One, a French company.

The trials are part of France's campaign to deliver Internet access to every home in the country, and will involve both home and business trials.

SurfTV uses the Voyager browser, which is designed to be compatible with any site on the Web, and is designed specifically for QNX.