Profile America: Telephone Service

Tuesday, January 1st. The nation’s telephone service options began expanding this month in 1982, when AT&T bowed to a Justice Department mandate to give up its local Bell System companies. The breakup became effective on this date 35 years ago, the result of what has been termed the most significant antitrust suit since the breakup of Standard Oil in 1911. From the late 19th century, the virtual monopoly of what had come to be known as “Ma Bell” controlled America’s telephone equipment and lines. Unleashed competitive forces have shaped the industry in the move to its current high tech status. Of America’s roughly 120 million housing units occupied by owners or renters, just 1.8 million, or about 1.5 percent, have no telephone service available. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online.

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