Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
SBC Communications is an American telecommunications company based in San Antonio, Texas. According to Daniel Berninger, Vice President and Senior Analyst of Tier1 Research, SBC is as of January, 2005 the largest telecommunications carrier in the United States.
The name SBC was formerly an abbreviation for Southwestern Bell Corporation. Southwestern Bell was one of the original Regional Bell operating companies, or "Baby Bells," formed after U.S. antitrust action against AT&T in 1983. AT&T had adopted the name Southwestern Bell for its local operations in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas in April 1920. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 allowed Southwestern Bell to become a national telephone provider, and it subsequently bought fellow Baby Bells Pacific Telesis and Ameritech, then bought independent Bell System franchise SNET.
In 1998, Southwestern Bell changed its name to SBC Communications. The company has stated that SBC no longer stands for anything.
In May 1998, SBC and Ameritech, the Regional Bell operating company serving Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, announced merger plans. After making several organizational changes (such as the sale of Ameritech Wireless to GTE) to satisfy state and Federal regulators, the two merged on October 8, 1999.
SBC currently provides local telephone service in 13 states (Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin) and long distance service to 10 million customers, and owns 60% of mobile phone provider Cingular. Cingular acquired AT&T Wireless in 2004, making Cingular the largest mobile phone service in the United States, with 40 Million plus subscribers. (Fellow Baby Bell BellSouth owns the other 40% of Cingular.) SBC is also a large American Internet Service Provider, and is the largest DSL provider in the US, with more than 5.1 million DSL lines.
On January 31, 2005, SBC announced that it would buy AT&T for more than $16 billion. The merger is expected to be completed in 2006, barring any regulatory difficulties. The name of the merged company has not been decided.
Places named after SBC
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