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Bell Operating Companies

Official Regional Bell Operating Companies link: http://www.bell.com/rbocs.htm*

*Note: bell.com has not been keeping their site up-to-date, and reflects disused Bell Operating Company logos and company information, as many of the various Bells have merged.

 

Web pages put together so far on the individual Bell Operating Companies:

Note:  As of January 1, 2012, there are only four Bell Operating Companies left: AT&T, CenturyLink, Cincinnati Bell, and Verizon.  AT&T and Bell South having merged, and Qwest acquired by CenturyLink.  We don't know of a central source of information about the mergers and other changes.  However, we did receive some information as shown below at the end of this page from Mark J Cuccia which does a very good job of updating us on what happened to the Baby Bells after 1983.  Also, click HERE to view a chart put together by Freepress.net showing the changes that have occurred in the Regional Bell Operating Companies over the years.  Also, it must be noted that the landline assets that Verizon has divested to Frontier in the last few years are not classified as being part of any RBOC, as frontier is an independent phone company.

It makes you wonder when the last Bell name will disappear - replaced by some abstract name like Verizon and the last Bell logo will be replaced by some abstract symbol which means nothing to those of us who remember the quality service that the Bell name and logo represented for over 100 years...  Remember when AT&T was told by the courts that as of 1984 they could no longer use the Bell name (except for Bell Labs) and they came up with the "death star" logo?  The Baby Bells weren't forced to change their logos but some were quick to do so - and they didn't do much better at coming up with a new one than AT&T did!  The only companies that still use the Bell name are Bell Canada and Cincinnati Bell, with Verizon using the Bell logo on payphones only.

The Porticus Centre has no personal financial investment or employment in any of these companies.

DISCLAIMER: All logos shown below are trademarks of the Regional Bell Operating Companies or others. These companies are not affiliated with this web site.  See Trademarks and Copyrights.

If you have photos of your local Bell company's buildings or vans, trucks, etc., we will post them here for you.

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Before the divestiture of the BELL SYSTEM on January 1, 1984, there were 22 Bell Operating Companies owned by AT&T:

 
Click on image above to enlarge

Click HERE for 1977 map of the Bell System

Click HERE for a 1974 map of the Bell System

 

Bell Telephone Company of Nevada

Is managed by the RBOC AT&T West

 

Illinois Bell Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC AT&T Midwest

 

Indiana Bell Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC AT&T Midwest

 

Michigan Bell Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC AT&T Midwest

 

Mountain States Telephone & Telegraph Company (Mountain Bell)

Is managed by the RBOC CenturyLink

 

New England Telephone & Telegraph Company

Formerly managed by the RBOC NYNEX. Due to a merger, it is now managed by the RBOC Bell Atlantic now known as Verizon.

 

New Jersey Bell Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC Verizon.

 

Northwestern Bell Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC CenturyLink

 

Pacific Northwest Bell Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC CenturyLink

 

Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company

Is managed by the RBOC AT&T West.

 

South Central Bell Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC AT&T South.

 

Southern Bell Telephone and Telegraph Company

Is managed by the RBOC AT&T South
 

Southwestern Bell Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC AT&T Southwest
 

The Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania

Is now known as Bell Atlantic - Pennsylvania now known as Verizon.

Is managed by the RBOC Bell Atlantic now known as Verizon.

 

The Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company

 

The Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company of Maryland

Is now known as Bell Atlantic - Maryland now known as Verizon.

Is managed by the RBOC Bell Atlantic now known as Verizon.

 

The Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company of Virginia

Is managed by the RBOC Bell Atlantic now known as Verizon.

 

The Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Company of West Virginia

Is managed by the RBOC Bell Atlantic now known as Verizon.

 

The Diamond State Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC Bell Atlantic now known as Verizon.

 

The New York Telephone Company

Formerly managed by the RBOC NYNEX. Due to a merger, it is now managed by the RBOC Bell Atlantic now known as Verizon.

 

The Ohio Bell Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC AT&T Midwest

 

Wisconsin Telephone Company

Is managed by the RBOC AT&T Midwest

1922 Postcard showing Wisconsin Telephone Company building in Racine, Wisconsin. Contributed by Brad Morrison.

 

In addition to these afore-listed companies AT&T also had partial ownership in the following four companies.

  1. Bell Telephone Company of Canada (Bell Canada) (AT&T owned 2% interest before 1975)

  2. Cincinnati Bell Telephone Company (AT&T owned 27.8% interest before 1984)

  3. Malheur Bell (Ontario, Oregon)

  4. Southern New England Bell Telephone Company, now known as AT&T Connecticut (AT&T owned 16.8% interest before 1984)

And Then Along Came Divestiture . . .

Under the terms of the consent decree signed by AT&T, the company was required to divest itself completely from the ownership of all of these companies by January 1, 1984.  These Bell Operating Companies were then grouped together with at least two Bell Operating Companies in each group to form seven "Regional Bell Operating Companies" which is often abbreviated as "RBOCs".  An interesting look at the financial and other data related to the formation of the "Holding Companies" can be viewed by clicking HERE.


Above map courtesy of AT&T archives - Sheldon Hochheiser, PRCRP

The original seven RBOCs were:

  • U S WEST logo, 1984-2000 (now part of AT&T)*

Ameritech was originally composed of these Bell Operating Companies:

originally provided service to the states of:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Michigan
  • Ohio
  • Wisconsin

 

  • U S WEST logo, 1984-2000 (merged in 2000 with GTE and is now called Verizon)

Bell Atlantic was originally composed of these Bell Operating Companies:

  • The Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Companies (four separate Corporations -- with one president and a centralized
    staff):

Bell Atlantic originally provided service to the states of:

  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Washington D.C.

     
  • U S WEST logo, 1984-2000 (now part of AT&T)

BellSouth was originally (and still is) composed of these Bell Operating Companies:

BellSouth originally provided service to the states of:

  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Alabama
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • Tennessee
  • Kentucky

 

  • (merged in 1997 with Bell Atlantic - now called Verizon)

Nynex was originally composed of these two Bell Operating Companies:

  • (also operated in one or two eastern counties of Connecticut. The rest of Connecticut was SNET, an independent company (now owned by SBC)

Nynex originally provided service to the states of:

  • New York
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Rhode Island

 

  • (now part of AT&T)*

Pacific Telesis Group was originally composed of these Bell Operating Companies:

  • (not listed in Appendix A of the Modified Final Judgement)

Pacific Telesis Group originally provided service to the states of:

  • California
  • Nevada

NOTE: Bell of NV similar to Diamond State - so small it was managed by Pac. Tel. Each of those two small companies [also C&P of Washington DC] was a separate corporation for regulatory purposes.

 

  • (now part of AT&T)*

Southwestern Bell Corporation was originally composed of this Bell Operating Company:

Southwestern Bell Corporation originally provided service to the states of:

  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Kansas
  • Missouri
  • Arkansas

     
  • U S WEST logo, 1984-2000 (merged in 2000 with Qwest, and Qwest was acquired in 2011 by CenturyLink).

US West was originally composed of these three Bell Operating Companies:

US West originally provided service to the states of:

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • Malheur Bell (Ontario, Oregon)
  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Minnesota
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Nebraska
  • Utah
  • Colorado
  • Arizona
  • New Mexico

 

* SBC dropped the Southwestern Bell, Pacific Bell, Pacific Telesis, and Ameritech names on December 10, 2002. Click HERE to read a newspaper article on this change in SBC.  In November 2005, SBC Communications, Inc. purchased AT&T Corp.

The seven RBOCs were granted the right to:

  • Provide local service
  • Publish Yellow Pages directories
  • Provide Directory Assistance services
  • Use the Bell symbol
  • Direct Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) [now called Telcordia], research and development facilities

The corporate changes that have taken place since then are a bit confusing, but we have a chart which helps sum it up pretty well.  Click HERE to view his chart.

The following was sent by Paul Wills.


It's a satire on what the new Baby Bells were
to be called after divestiture of the Bell System.
Click on the image below for enlarged view as PDF file.

Some other satire names given to the newly formed Baby Bells are:

  • US West = US Worst
     

  • Taco Bell is what they called Telmex after Southwestern Bell purchased an interest in it when it was privatized. (thanks to Roger Conklin for this info.)
     

  • Bell Atlantic = Bell Frantic.  "And before that, when it was known as New Jersey Bell,  I called it 'New Jersey Dumb-Bell'" (thanks to Fred Dieckmann for this info.)

The following information was sent by Mark J Cuccia.

"This is something was posted to misc.transport.road in a recent HUGE thread about "Bell" and "Standard Oil" and the parallels of their development, history, rise and power, and what has happened since each was dis-membered by the Federal Govt. In this post, I summarize what has happened and current developments of the dismembered elements of the one-time Bell System. Maybe this will help out in keeping track...

Mark J. Cuccia

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Mon, 04 Sep 2000 18:52:44 -0500
From: Mark J. Cuccia
To: mcuccia@tulane.edu

Newsgroups: misc.transport.road

Subject: (Re) BOC Names and Logos - and a re-capitulation of what has become of the Bell System entities

Joe Isham (jisham@yahoo.com) wrote:

> Mark J Cuccia (mcuccia@tulane.edu) wrote

>> Southwestern Bell Telephone Company - the original and ONLY BOC of

>> Southwestern Bell Corporation in 1984, seems to be the ONLY member

>> of the SBC family still using the "Bell" logo

> They have dropped the Bell logo as of August. Currently SWB uses

> just the words "Southwestern Bell" and the "SBC Global Network"

> logo.

 

Sad! :(

Yes, I just took a look at the SBC ("touchtone-star" and figure-8/sine-wave "swoosh") Coporate website, www.sbc.com, which has links to:

- Ameritech (full circle oval "swoosh"),

- Southwestern Bell (SBC Corporate logo),

- Nevada Bell, Pacific Bell, (it looks like the 1984 => SBC-takeover

Pacific*Telesis corporate for Pac*Bell/CA and NV*Bell doesn't "exist" at all anymore; both NV*Bell and Pac*Bell use the "touchtone-star" in a square, like a touchtone key/button), - and "semi-BOC" SNET/CT (triple concentric semi-circle/oval "swooshes")

NONE of them, neither corporate, nor the "BOCs" that it holds, use the "Bell" logo of 1970->today.

(20% of Bell Canada, which itself holds a lot of Canadian telco operations or has joint ventures with MTS in Manitoba, was purchased by Ameritech, now part of SBC, about two years ago; and Bell Canada stopped using ANY version of a "Bell" logo circa 1975)

But SBC seems to be the ONLY remaining entity of the 1984-RBOC corporations that still lists individual names of other RBOCs it bought out or their operating companies! Every other RBOC (or merged RBOCs) have consolidated all of their BOC/local names, at least for "public" marketing purposes.

So, here is a re-capitualtion of the various different parts of the (at one time) Bell System, as they now exist today:

- SBC , and Bell Canada (described above)

- VeriZon (once known as Bell Atlantic/NYNEX, and GTE);

VeriZon name to be used in the US, Telus (from GTE and AGT) name to be used in Canada; I don't know about GTE/VeriZon operations outside of the continental US or Canada - such as Hawaii, Saipan, Dominican Republic -- if they intend to hold on to their shares/operations or spin-them-off, and if they do intend to keep them, is the VeriZon name going to eventually replace the GTE-Hawaiian Telephone name, the GTE-Micronesia name, or the (GTE)Codetel name ???; GTE has been selling-off / spinning-off many of its smaller US local telco operations in preparation for GTE + BA/NYNEX = VeriZon)

- BellSouth , Qwest/US-West:

The former Southern Bell and South Central Bell names no longer exist (at least for "public" marketing purposes)... likewise, Mountain Bell, Northwestern Bell, and Pacific Northwest Bell names disappeared into (corporate) US-West about ten years ago, but US-West did adopt the "Bell" logo for both corporate, and for the "public" BOC name when it dropped the local names...

In recent years, Frontier/Global-Crossing, and (LCI)Qwest seemed to be courting BOTH BellSouth and US-West. Qwest has only recently since taken over US-West, and the "Bell" logo is gone too. BellSouth DOES continue to use the "Bell" logo (it appeared on the corporate logo when in 1995, South Central Bell and Southern Bell names were consolidated into the corporate BellSouth name)...

I only recently discovered that BellSouth does own something like 20% of Qwest. BellSouth's LD-resale of 1+ coin at BellSouth payphones and its 1-800-BELL-SOU(th) card/operator services it is "pushing" (which is _NOT_ the REAL BellSouth "TOPS" LATA operator/card services) is actually a resale of Qwest (but I don't know who you get on 1-800-BELLSOU(th) from (former) US-West territory, due to the gov't stipulations on the US-West/Qwest merger.

Also, BellSouth and US-West seemed to have become _VERY_ friendly and "similar" to/with _each_other_ in the past three years.

If there is ever a "consolidation" of Qwest/US-West with BellSouth, which name will continue to be used? Will the "Bell" logo still be sued? If it is BellSOUTH and US-_WEST_ merged, would this be SBC? :-)

(i.e., _South_ from BellSouth + _West_ from US-West giving SouthWestern Bell !! :-)

And another point for telco historian/teckies -- BellSouth and US-West never really had _ANY_ Panel or #1XB local switching, EXCEPT for LIMITED Panel (only two central offices in Atlanta installed in the late 1920's or early 1930's), and Panel/#1XB in the Seattle Metro area when Pacific NW Bell was still part of Pacific Tel (& Tel).

In the early 1960's, Pac-NW-Bell was split out of Pacific Tel (& Tel) as its own unique AT&T-owned BOC (similar to SCBell splitting from So.Bell in the late 1960's), and in 1984, Pac-NW-Bell was put under US-West, now Qwest...

Well, there was some Panel/#1XB in Omaha NE (actually the VERY first Panel switch in the US was in Omaha), and that was NWBell->USWest->

Qwest.

But Panel/#1XB _flourished_ in more urban metro areas of NYNEX/BA, Ameritech, the SF-Oakland Bay area (Pac*Bell), St.Louis MO and Kan.Cy

MO (and I would guess KC-Kansas) which would be SWBell...

- Semi-BOC Cincinnati Bell (a "Broadwing" Company) still has the name "Bell" as well as the 1970's->today "Bell" logo: www.cincinnatibell.com

 

- AT&T

- Lucent Technologies (which includes Bell Labs)

- Telcordia (was once known as Bellcore, Bell Communications Research, formed in 1983 as the Central Services Organization out of the Bell System, to be a "central point-of-contact" and "co-ordinating" unit, owned equally by all seven 1984 RBOCs, each owning 1/7th of Bellcore. Bellcore started out in 1983/84 with "permanent" employees who came from the BOCs - mostly Jersey Bell, NYTel, Bell of PA; AT&T-WECO;

AT&T-Long-Lines, AT&T-HQ, and Bell Labs; The BOC/RBOCs, except for Cincinnati Bell and SNET/CT which didn't really own any parts of Bellcore, had "rotating / tour-of-duty" employees at Bellcore; Bellcore/Telcordia's main offices/locations are all over NJ, the biggest being in Piscataway NJ in offices once used by AT&T/WECO/Bell-Labs; Bellcore used the "Bell" logo until a few years ago when SAIC bought out the shares from the RBOCs and then changed the name to Telcordia Technologies; SAIC = Scientific Applications International Corporation. Bellcore/Telcordia still does the TRA - Traffic Routing Administration which it took over from AT&T as of 1984; Bellcore, prior to name change to Telcordia, used to be the NANPA - North American Numbering Plan Administration; NANPA went over to Lockheed-Martin in late 1997, but then went to Warburg-Pincus' Neustar in late 1999; Bellcore/Telcordia still does co-ordination for other aspects of North American telephony/industry; the Telcordia logo is two "swoosy" letter 'Ts'; SAIC also has the contract for the Canadian Numbering Administration for Canada-specific numbering/dialing co-ordination, but the CNA still has to work closely with Telcordia-TRA and Neustar-NANPA, and other US/Canada telco industry bodies, some which were formed out of what the old Bell System did).

 

Some other bodies formed out of the old Bell System include:

- NECA (National Exchange Carriers' Association) in Whippany NJ (in an old Bell Labs / WECO / AT&T building); - and ATIS (the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions, which manages the industry standards forums) located in DC.

US(I)TA, the United States (Independent) Telephone Association is what the old industry assocication body for the non-Bell telcos in the US, and not really part of the Bell System, altho' they did interface with AT&T for technical/standards inter-operations... In 1984, the 'I' for Independent was dropped, and membership was extended to the (R)BOCs. USTA still is in existance, located in DC.

 

SO.....

It appears that only BellSouth (itself, and not Qwest/US-West), and (semi-BOC) Cincinnati Bell are the ONLY former members of what was once known as "The Bell System" that still use the "Bell" logo of the 1970's->forward, although some of SBC's holdings still include the "Bell" word in their names (Pacific, Nevada, Southwestern), while everything else using the "Bell" name and/or logo has disappeared. (Well, there's still the "Bell" name in Bell Canada and its operations north-of-the-border...)

Yes, it looks like "Bell" has gone the way of "Standard"...(Standard Oil).  While growing up in the 1960's/70's here in New Orleans, I'd occasionally heard the name "Standard Oil" referenced, but I really hadn't known that Esso (including Enco) and Humble were really the "original" Standard Oil (of New Jersey). Of course, I did see roadmaps issued by American/Amoco which had "Standard" written in the r/w/b oval/torch/flame, and maps issued by Chevron which had "Standard" written above the r/w/b chevrons... and it always confused me.

BTW, note who most of the more dominant "Baby Standards" used (patriotic) all-American Red/White/Blue in their logos:

Esso/Enco/Humble/etc => Exxon (S.O.NJ), taking over Mobil

Chevron/SoCal/etc => Chevron (S.O.CA)

Mobil/Socony-Vacuum => Mobil (S.O.NY), taken over by Exxon

Amoco/PanAm/Utoco/American/etc=>Amoco (S.O.IN), being taken over by BP

Sohio/Boron (S.O.OH), being taken over by BP

 

IMO, whether others think it might even be a "good" think, to ME, it is a SAD DAY to think that future generations may never know of service-stations / gasoline products / roadmaps / etc. that aren't known as "Standard" (or any derivative)... and similarly a SAD day to lose the "Bell" name and/or logo for a company providing telephone service! :(

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