It's Almost New Years!
As we near this year's New Year, I like to reflect on mid night, January 1, 1984 -- when AT&T's settlement decree with the U.S. government went into effect and AT&T was broken into 8 individual companies and the era of a competitive long-distance market began, with local to follow in another decade, across the United States. As our film tells, this break-up led to lower prices and more choices for consumers in the years since. However, it is important to note that nearly 40 years later, AT&T is once again the world's largest telecommunications company and almost all its former parts are back together again under the AT&T banner. However, AT&T does compete today with other telecom service providers including Verizon, who acquired MCI, a major early competitor to AT&T. At this time of the year, it is important to remember the lessons of the period leading up to January 1, 1984 as we look towards ways to ensure vibrant competition in the U.S. telecom market.
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