Baby Bell

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Baby Bell

n.
Any of the regional telephone companies created in 1984 when AT&T was ordered to divest itself of its local telephone service operations.

[From (Ma) Bell, nickname for Bell Telephone Company, after Alexander Graham Bell.]
References in periodicals archive ?
Baby bells rang last year for this ace cricketer but this will be his first father's day with son Izhaan.
One would go to a local phone carrier, typically a Baby Bell. (AT&T was being divested at this time, with the local exchange carriers--"Baby Bells"--split off while AT&T retained its long-distance and equipment manufacturing businesses.) A "non wireline" company, not a Baby Bell, would receive the other license.
The Baby Bells are marketing a service that can make the answering machine seem like an instrument of civility.
State law trumped the city's ability to levy the fee on CenturyLink because it's a successor to the "Baby Bells" created during the federal government's breakup of AT&T in 1982.
PacTel, one of the original Baby Bells created in the 1983 breakup of AT&T, was acquired by another Baby Bell spinoff, SBC Communications, in 1997; SBC, then coming full circle, acquired AT&T Corp.
What happened was probably ineluctable: Confronting an antitrust lawsuit filed by the Justice Department and the scrutiny of a federal judge skeptical of its privileged status, AT&T announced in 1984 that it was being dismembered into eight parts: seven localline "Baby Bells" and a long distance carrier still named AT&T.
The "Baby Bells" have mostly been acquired and consolidated, and AT&T could be said to have reconstituted itself.
The telecommunications industry was in flux at the time with the break up of AT & T into seven holding companies and 22 baby Bells. When Janet Hirshberg, director of member services, hired him in October 1986, telecommunications was just beginning the long road to deregulation.
The agreement would see the combined companies operating 68.7m local phone lines and generating USD117m in revenue, and would further the reunification of the Baby Bells, which were previously spun off from AT&T to enhance competition.
(d) Only two remaining baby Bells would be left--huge Verizon in the Northeast and weak Qwest of the Western mountain states.
Now the Baby Bells are not only remarrying, they are adopting their cellphone orphans.
The subject of that piece, however, remains fresh in my mind: Nynex (one of the original Baby Bells spun off from the divestiture of AT & T; its facilities are now part of Verizon) was taking advantage of the Big Dig to pursue a massive upgrade to its own aging infrastructure.