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08/01/1982 AT&T agreed to break-up and sell its 22 Bell System firms

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The Communicators: The Breakup of AT&T in the 1980's

The monopoly, the Bell System, was split into entirely separate companies that would continue to provide telephone service. AT&T would continue to be a provider of long-distance service, while the now independent Regional Bell Operating Companies would provide local service.
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