Independent-telephone-company meaning

Referring to United States telephone companies that are not part of the Bell System, i.e., are not owned by AT&T.The term was obsoleted when AT&T divested the operating telephone companies in 1984 as a result of the Modified Final Judgement (MFJ), also known as the Divestiture Decree. The term is now doubly obsolete as the AT&T of the twenty-first century bears no resemblance to that of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Nonetheless, more than 1,000 telephone companies continue to refer to themselves as independent. See also MFJ.
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