[UFO Chicago] Bell companies

Neil R. Ormos ormos at ripco.com
Fri Feb 10 05:14:09 PST 2006

Jordan wrote:

> I've done some checking and there are 4
companies left of the RBOCs:

> AT&T consists of former properties of Ameritech,
> PacBell, and Southwestern Bell (formerly SBC)
> plus the long-distance etc. company.

To supplement Jordan's comments:

Pacific Telesis (misspelled about 1/3 of the time)
included both Pacific Bell and Nevada Bell.

Cincinnati Bell and Southern New England Telephone
(SNET) were two operating companies that were not
wholly-owned by AT&T at the time of divestiture,
and therefore did not then become part of an RBOC.

SBC acquired SNET in 1998, so the new "AT&T" now
owns completely an operating company of which the
old AT&T only had partial ownership.

> BellSouth consists of Southern Bell and South
Central Bell

> Verison constis of Bell Atlantic, NYNEX, and
non-Bell companies

Verizon was formed by the "merger" of then-Bell
Atlantic (which had already absorbed NYNEX) and
GTE in 2000. Although non-Bell, GTE was no small
potato.  In 1995, GTE had revenues of about $20
billion; Bell Atlantic about $27 billion.  I don't
know how much GTE had to divest at the time of the

> Quest owns the former assets of US West.

> In addition, Sprint offers local service but I'm
> not sure how they got into it as they didn't eat
> one of the RBOCs.

The Southern Pacific Railroad had a
telecommunications network with excess capacity.
They marketed the excess capacity through an
operating company called Southern Pacific
Communications Corp. (SPCC), which offered first a
fax service (SpeedFax), and then a dial-in voice
service (Sprint).  GTE, which owned a number of
mostly-rural local telephone operating companies,
acquired SPCC from Southern Pacific.  United
Telephone Companies (another large owner of many
mostly-rural telephone operating companies) also
had a long-distance operation.  GTE and United
merged these long-distance operations into one
company "US Sprint", of which each parent would
own 50 percent. Over time, United Telephone
acquired all of Sprint from GTE and changed
United's corporate name to Sprint.  When GTE
merged into Verizon, GTE sold some of its local
operations to Sprint.  So Sprint now operates
local properties that were originally parts of
United Telephone or GTE.

For a short time, local telephone customers in Des
Plaines and Park Ridge had Sprint-branded local
service.  That area was originally served by
Centel, which was later acquired by either United
or GTE (I don't recall which) and eventually
branded as Sprint.  The area is now served by SBC.

> Cingular is owned 60-40 by AT&T and BellSouth.

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