Divestiture

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Divestiture

The breakup of AT&T (American Telephone & Telegraph Corporation), the largest company in the U.S. prior to 1984. By federal court order, AT&T divested itself on January 1, 1984 of its 23 operating companies, which became known as the Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs). Bell Labs was renamed AT&T Bell Labs, and its Western Electric manufacturing division became AT&T Technologies.

The demarcation point of the split was the Class 4 switching center. Except for those that handled large metropolitan regions, all Class 4 offices remained with AT&T, and all Class 5 offices went to the RBOCs. It was the switching office class hierarchy within the Bell system that made Divestiture possible, because there were clear borders between long distance and local service. See Class 4 switch, Bellcore and Trivestiture.
References in classic literature ?
Allowing the utmost latitude to the love of power which any reasonable man can require, I confess I am at a loss to discover what temptation the persons intrusted with the administration of the general government could ever feel to divest the States of the authorities of that description.
At first, indeed, I pretended that I was describing the imaginary experiences of a fictitious person; but my enthusiasm soon forced me to throw off all disguise, and finally, in a fervent peroration, I exhorted all my hearers to divest themselves of prejudice and to become believers in the Third Dimension.
His sole occupation was to sit with his head against the wall, looking hard at the thoughtful baby; and I could not quite divest my mind of a fancy that they understood one another.
True the Bedouins never did any thing to him when he arrived, and never had any intention of doing any thing to him in the first place, and wondered what in the mischief he was making all that to-do about; but still I could not divest myself of the idea, somehow, that a frightful peril had been escaped through that man's dare-devil bravery, and so I never could read about Wm.
Frowning with vexation at the effort necessary to divest himself of his coat and trousers, the prince undressed, sat down heavily on the bed, and appeared to be meditating as he looked contemptuously at his withered yellow legs.