American Telephone & Telegraph, the original name of the company founded by Alexander Graham Bell, held a monopoly on telecommunication in the US for many years. Based on direction from the US Department of Justice, AT&T was divided into seven Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) in 1984. These RBOCs included many familiar names over the last 20 years including BellSouth, Ameritech, Southwestern Bell, etc. Over the last seven years, there has been increased competition in the telecomm business and tremendous consolidation. Ironically, the name AT&T has reemerged from the ashes and represents the consolidation of more than half of those RBOCs.
This is a funny but accurate depiction of the recent history of AT&T from Colbert — from breakup of the monopoly to it’s re-emergence in the last couple of years.
1 min 13 sec