Good phone service and Bell Labs.
TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: Touche! and all that ... But the main trouble with that was Bell *tried* to have good PR but in fact they sucked at it. Remember, the entire divestiture thing succeeded in large part because Judge Harold Greene lost ten cents in a nasty, smelly, urinated-on, busted-up, graffiti-ridden payphone booth and the operator sassed at him and condescended to him about getting a refund when the phone did not 'work right'. Greene was *so annoyed* by that incident he swore that he would bust up Bell no matter what. Only a short time later, two of the Justice Department flunkies who knew about Greene's experience and his pre-disposition toward Bell told their bosses they knew of the 'perfect judge' to do their bidding. Justice, you see, was waiting for the right judge at the right time; they did not like Bell that much either. I dare say that had Bell been a bit more diligent in PR efforts during the late 1970's and early 1980's they might still be around. Maybe, I am not sure. PAT]