VeriZon/GTE/Bell Atlantic/etc. (was VeriZon Screwed Me) [telecom]

Just a reminder that this is Verizon (the former GTE et al) and not

> Verizon Wireless, a different (and more competent) company.

Then Bill Horne (Telecom Digest Moderator) added:

***** Moderator's Note ***** > > Verizon is the former NYNEX/Bell Titanic [sic] merger, and it picked > up GTE etc. after that.

Not exactly. Bell Atlantic took over NYNEX two or three years _BEFORE_ the merger with GTE, the _LATTER_ (the takeover of GTE) is really what formed VeriZon (landline).

The Bell Atlantic/NYNEX merger was announced on Tuesday 22-April-1996, and went through more than a year of the regulatory/stockholder/etc. approval process, the effective date of the merger was on effective on Tuesday 01-September-1997, when the Bell Atlantic name began replacing the NYNEX name in the states of legacy New York Tel (NY, Greenwich/Byram CT) and New England Tel & Tel (ME/NH/VT, MA/RI).

Bell Atlantic (which now included former NYNEX) and GTE (what still remained of it, and which since 1990/91 included what remained of the former Contel) announced on Monday 27-July-1998 their intent to merge. The regulatory/stockholder/etc. approval process took about two years for this merger.

Prior to the effective date of the BA/GTE merger for the landline sides, the WIRELESS sides merged, which also included some other wireless licenses in the US as well as Vodafone in the UK and Europe. I don't know all of the specifics of the ownership and such of the wireless side though, but I do know that Vodafone is (or was) involved in VeriZon. This was effective in March/April 2000 when the VeriZon name was formally announced for the first time.

Also in Spring 2000, Telus in Canada announced a re-organization of their landline structure, since legacy GTE had owned the telco landline operations in some or most of two provinces for decades.

GTE (through its Anglo-Canadian subsidiary) had owned just over 50% of British Columbia Telephone Company since the 1950s, which has been the incumbent landline telco for MOST of the Province of British Columbia.

In 1967, GTE (again through its subsidiary Anglo-Canadian) purchased "QuebecTel" (NOT to be confused with "Telebec", another telco in Quebec), which was a growing consolidation of a number of local independent telcos in eastern and southeastern Quebec. Again, GTE/Anglo-Canadian owned just over 50% of QuebecTel.

Bell Canada is NOT the "only" telco in Quebec and Ontario though; there always have been, and still are, several small towns scattered across Ontario and Quebec served by their own local telcos). And even in other provinces, there have been small and mid-size telcos which are considered "independent", since they are not owned by one of the "dominant provincial telcos". The "dominant provincial telcos" are not considered "independents" by the Canadian telco industry, even though they are not necessarily owned by Bell Canada. The definition of "independent" in Canada is not "exactly" the same as here in the US.

Circa 1998, (partially) GTE-held BC-Tel and "Telus", which was the new name for the former AGT (Alberta Government Tel), which _used_ to be owned by the Alberta provincial government prior to the 1990s-era, merged. The merged entity covering Alberta and most of British Columbia would carry the "Telus" name, the "BC-Tel" name was slowly eliminated over the next two years. GTE would own something like

20% to 30% of the new (merged AB/BC) Telus, although its voting stock was a bit lower than the actual amount owned. GTE/Anglo-Canadian still owned what it had of QuebecTel though.

But in Spring 2000, at the time that the new VeriZon name was first announced for the merged wireless sides of Bell Atlantic, GTE, and others, Telus in Canada, and GTE/Anglo-Canadian, re-organized their association. GTE-soon-to-be-part-of-the-new-VeriZon would transfer most of their Anglo-Canadian holdings in QuebecTel to Canadian-based Telus, and the Quebec telco would be renamed Telus-Quebec, and adopt the Telus logo as well. (This really was one way that Telus, which was originally the old AGT, now began expanding into a national Canadian telecom entity). Thus ALL of the old GTE telco operations in Canada were now going to all be named "Telus", and be mostly owned by Telus. (In late 2004, Telus purchased all of VeriZon/legacy-GTE's Canadian holdings, thus ending legacy GTE telco operations in most of BC and part of Quebec).

The landline sides of Bell Atlantic (including old NYNEX) and GTE (including what remained of Contel) became effective on Monday

03-July-2000, and it was already publicly known since Spring 2000 (when the wireless mergers were effective and the VeriZon name was publicly announced to apply to that wireless side), that the VeriZon name would also now apply to the landline side, and begin to replace the Bell Atlantic and GTE names.

NOTE that I mention "what remained of" for Contel and even GTE. Both companies did grow leading up to the 1970s, in the number of other small and mid-size independent telcos that they had been buying out for several decades. But starting in the 1970s/80s-era, both GTE and Contel began selling off individual exchanges here-and-there, as well as selling off entire states where they previously operated, after having acquired smaller telcos in those states.

Circa 1970, GT&E had operations in 35 states, as well as in Canada (as mentioned above), and the Dominican Republic. GT&E also once owned PLDT, Philippine Long Distance Telephone, the dominant local and toll provider in most of the Philippines (there were some other smaller "independent" telcos as well), but by 1967, Marcos and his family and friends "nationalized" PLDT. Hawaii was also one of those 35 states where GTE had been located. ALL of Hawaii was owned by GTE. GTE also owned SOME exchanges in Alaska as well.

Circa 1970, Contel had expanded its size, owning exchanges in as many as 42 states. This included a number of exchanges scattered about Alaska as well. Contel also owned some exchanges in Canada -- in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick. And Contel partially owned (with the local island government, or with Cable & Wireless, telcos in several "British" Caribbean islands.

During the 1970s/80s-era, GTE pulled out of five states where they previously owned exchanges, and Contel pulled out of twelve states. Contel sold off their Alaskan exchanges to PTI. Bell Canada took over Contel's Ontario exchanges. Several "independent" telcos in Quebec took over Contel's Quebec exchanges. Bell-held New Brunswick Telephone took over one-time Contel in St.Clair NB. Contel's "British" Caribbean telcos were usually "nationalized" by the new emerging hard-left Marxist regimes in the Caribbean-area at the time -- this happened to Contel in Grenada, Trinidad, Guyana (on the north coast of S.America but is more associated with the "British" Caribbean), and even their operations in Jamaica. I think that Contel's operations in Barbados and in parts of the Bahamas were retained the longest, into the 1980s, when Contel chose to leave the region on their own.

In the US mainland, GTE and Contel sold off some states to local small local independent telcos, as well as to the growing CenturyTel, or even swapped areas with each other.

GTE (what remained of it) bought what remained of Contel in 1990/91, and began renaming the former Contel exchanges as GTE exchanges. But also from 1992-95, GTE sold off entire states of Contel and even long time GTE, some to other smaller independents, and some to Citizens Tel and Alltel. ALL of GTE and former Contel in West Virginia was sold off in 1992 to Citizens Tel (which in 1991 would buy out Frontier/ Rochester Tel/etc. from Bermuda-based Global Crossing, and then change its name to Frontier over the next few years. In 1995, GTE sold off all former Contel in upper New England to a consortium of local telcos, most of which would later consolidate in 2000 to form the new "FairPoint".

And even after GTE/Contel was taken over by Bell Atlantic/NYNEX to form VeriZon, in 2000, many former GTE or Contel area were sold by VeriZon to others. Some of these sales of old GTE/Contel were actually negotiated by GTE in the late 1990s, prior to VeriZon though. Old GTE in Alaska was sold off by VeriZon in 2000, to a consortium of local independent telcos in Alaska, which divided those exchanges amongst themselves. Old GTE (including Contel in many cases) in Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Alabama, Minnesota, etc. was sold off by VeriZon in 2000 and 2002 to CenturyTel, Citizens-soon-Frontier, and Alltel. GTE/Contel in Iowa was sold off by VeriZon to the new Iowa Telecom, which was formed by Iowa Network Services to buy out Iowa's legacy GTE/Contel. (Iowa Telecom is now part of "Windstream", the 2006 merged entity of Alltel and Valor). GTE in Oklahoma, SOME GTE/Contel in parts of Texas, and what remained of GTE/Contel in New Mexico was sold off by VeriZon in 2000 to the newly formed "Valor", which has since merged in 2006 with Alltel's landline to form Windstream).

VeriZon sold off legacy GTE/Hawaii to the Carlyle Group in 2005, the new name for the telco is Hawaiian Telcom. Also in 2005, VZ sold off legacy GTE in the Mariana Islands in the Pacific (Saipan/Tinian/Rota) to the Philippine-based Pacific Telecom Inc (NOT to be confused with the PTI in the western/mid-west US including Alaska, which was taken over by CenturyTel in 2007/08).

In 2006, VeriZon announced that they were pulling out of the Caribbean area, where legacy GTE had operations. In 1995, GTE bought into the PR-Government-partially-held Puerto Rico Tel Co, but GTE still didn't own PRTC completely. GTE (through Anglo-Canadian) owned the majority of Codetel in the Dominican Republic, for decades. And in the early 1990s, GTE bought a small percentage of "CANTV" in Venezuela. These all became part of VeriZon in 2000 when BA/NYNEX took over legacy GTE/Contel. VeriZon was going to sell-off their Caribbean holdings to American Movil, which was mostly a group which had large holdings in TelMex. VZ was successful in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in selling off their holdings, but they mostly lost out w/r/t CANTV in Venezuela, since hard-left Marxist Hug Chavez nationalized the VZ/GTE holdings in the meantime.

In the Dominican Republic, the Codetel name was replaced with VeriZon-Dominicana in 2000, but with VZ pulling out in the 2006-08 period, the Codetel name has returned.

In 2004, when VeriZon announced that they were going to sell off legacy GTE-Hawaiian Telephone Company, they also announced that they wanted to exit New York State. GTE had sold their NY State exchanges to Contel in the 1970s/80s-era, but re-acquired those exchanges in

1991 when GTE bought out Contel, and GTE also acquired the long-time Contel exchanges in NY State as well. But by the mid-1990s, GTE sold off ALL of this to Citizens-Tel (now Frontier). VeriZon now wanted to sell off New York Tel, a legacy BOC! VZ would still retain the New York City Metro LATA #132, which includes Long Island (except Fishers Island), and also includes the lower Hudson River Valley counties of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, and PART of Orange, and also the Connecticut ratecenters of Byram/Greenwich which are VZ/NYTel and not SNET. But everything else in NY State outside of the NYC Metro LATA #132 would be sold off. To date, NOTHING FURTHER has happened regarding this proposed sell-off.

But in 2006, VeriZon announced that they wanted to sell off the BOC operations (New England Tel & Tel) in the three upper New England of ME/NH/VT, And VeriZon wanted to sell off GTE (and what still remained of legacy Contel) in the five Midwest states, OH/MI/IN/IL/WI. GTE was in all five states (some areas were sold off over the years). Legacy Contel was never in Ohio (there is an Ohio town named "Continental OH" which has had its own local telco of the same name, but that was NEVER part of Contel; today this Ohio telco is part of TDS), and Contel had sold off their Michigan and Wisconsin exchanges before being bought by GTE in 1990/91. When GTE was selling off GTE and Contel in the early

1990s after having just acquired Contel, they sold Georgia GTE and Contel to Alltel, and ACQUIRED Alltel in MI/IN/IL in return -- these had been renamed GTE-then-VeriZon, and these would be part of any VZ sale of exchanges in that part of the Midwest.

In January 2007, VeriZon announced that the BOC states of ME/NH/VT of legacy New England Tel & Tel would be sold to FairPoint, while the legacy NET&T states of MA/RI would still be retained by VeriZon. This was completed in April 2008, and it also required some rewiring of customer loops/switches and re-homing of switches/tandems w/r/t MA/NH and MA/VT. Also remember that in 1995 GTE sold off all 1990/91 acquired legacy Contel in these same three states of ME/NH/VT. Thus FairPoint has MOST of the exchanges in all three states, both old Contel and legacy BOC NET&T, although there are a few other small local independent telcos in all three states.

Then in May 2009, VeriZon announced that they were going to sell off ALL exchanges in numerous states, and SOME exchanges in California. This included ALL of legacy BOC C&P-West Virginia (which includes the Crows-Hematite VA ratecenter which gets dialtone from White Sulphur Sprints WV). Frontier (formerly Citizens, as well as Rochester Tel/ etc) would acquire all of this.

Remember that Citizens bought out all of GTE/Contel in West Virginia circa 1992 when GTE sold all of that. Citizens (pre-Frontier) also acquired Alltel in West Virginia. Thus, with a few exceptions of a handful of small local independent telcos in WV, Frontier now has virtually ALL exchanges in West Virginia, which includes legacy Bell (C&P-WV), legacy GTE/Contel, and old Alltel.

NOTE though, that some ratecenters' customer-loops in WV used to get dialtone from VZ/BA/C&P-MD based c.o.switches, and vice-versa, some customer-loops in MD used to get dialtone from once-VZ/BA/C&P-WV based c.o.switches being sold to Frontier/Citizens. These customers in each state have been re-wired to c.o.switches in their own states, from incumbent telcos for their own post-2010 states. This is similar to what happened in 2008 with VZ selling NET&T in ME/NH/VT to FairPoint with cross-border dialtone needing to be re-aligned with MA/NH and MA/VT. In both cases, local/EAS is retained. In WV/MD, both the retained VZ/BA/C&P-MD and the now-Frontier/Citizens (formerly- VZ/BA/C&P-WV) areas are in the same Hagerstown MD LATA and all home on the same Cumberland MD tandem.

The 2009 sale which was effective 01-July-2010 was MOSTLY of remaining legacy GTE/Contel that VeriZon was now selling to Frontier. Only some legacy GTE/Contel exchanges in California bordering OR/NV/AZ were sold to Frontier, VeriZon retaining the rest of (what remained of) legacy GTE/Contel in CA. (In the mid-1990s, GTE did sell off a FEW CA-based exchanges to Citizens-pre-Frontier, though).

VeriZon also sold-off to Frontier in 2009/10 legacy GTE including any legacy Contel in other states, such as those five Midwest states (OH/MI/IN/IL/WI) that it had referenced in 2006, as well as legacy GTE (including any legacy Contel) in NC/SC (Contel-then-GTE-now-VZ Knotts Island NC is retained by VeriZon though), WA, OR, ID, NV, AZ. Some of these states that VeriZon was selling off to Frontier had only legacy "longtime" GTE, some states had old GTE and old Contel that GTE acquired in 1990/91, and some states had only old Contel that GTE acquired in 1990/91. Also Michigan had both old GTE and GTE-acquired Alltel, while both Illinois and Indiana had old GTE as well as GTE-acquired Alltel AND GTE-acquired Contel, all of this sold to Frontier/Citizens in 2009/10.

With this huge 2009/10 sale by VeriZon to Frontier/Citizens last year, VeriZon still retains the following legacy telcos and states:

- Bell Atlantic including NYNEX, although NYNEX/NET&T in ME/NH/VT were sold to FairPoint in 2007/08 (NYNEX/NET&T MA/RI is still retained); (BA/C&P-WV including Crows-Hematite VA was sold to Frontier/Citizens)

- old GTE including any Contel in...

Pennsylvania and Virginia, both being legacy "Bell Atlantic states", and VZ has integrated day-to-day operations for these legacy GTE and Contel exchanges into that of neighboring legacy Bell Atlantic operations. This also includes the legacy Contel Knotts Island NC exchange retained by VeriZon after 2009/10, even though everything else GTE/Contel in NC was sold to Frontier/Citizens. Knotts Island NC does have its own c.o.switch, a remote hosted from Virginia, and is part of the Norfolk VA LATA. There is local/EAS with Norfolk VA as well, which has both legacy BOC C&P-VA and other legacy Contel in the vicinity on the Virginia side;

Florida -- all of the Tampa Bay area which has been GTE for decades; (There _USED_ to be Contel in the northern parts of Florida until the mid/late 1980s, most of this sold to Centel-later-Sprint/Centel-now- CenturyLink, one Contel exchange sold in the mid-1970s to what is now Frontier-legacy-Rochester-Tel, and another Contel exchange sold in the

1980s to Alltel-now-Windstream);

Texas -- remaining GTE-including-Contel -- there were a number of GTE including old Contel exchanges sold by VeriZon in 2000 to the new "Valor" telco, Valor now part of Windstream since 2006, but VeriZon did retain most of GTE/Contel in Texas in 2000, this also being retained with 2009/10;

California -- most GTE/Contel retained by VZ in 2009/10, although a few CA exchanges bordering OR (GTE-West Coast Tel), NV (Contel), AZ (Contel) were sold to Frontier/Citizens in 2009/10; And a few old CA GTE/Contel exchanges were sold by GTE to Citizens-pre-Frontier in 1995.

I wonder what else is going to be sold by VeriZon or anyone else in the next several years? CenturyLink has grown since CenturyTel's acquisition in 2008/09 of Embarq-once-Sprint-once-United-also-Centel, and now CenturyLink wants to takeover Qwest/US-West/legacy Mountain Bell, Northwestern Bell, Pacific Northwest Bell. Windstream has been growing some in the past few years, and Frontier has acquired other independent telcos as well.

Anyhow, Bell Atlantic bought out NYNEX, announced in 1996, officially effective in September 1997. The Bell Atlantic name replaced the NYNEX name at this time. The VeriZon name wasn't implemented at this time, and probably hadn't even been thought of by anyone in BA.

It was in 1998 when Bell Atlantic (including old NYNEX) and (what remained of) GTE (including what remained of Contel) announced their merger, which also would include several other wireless entities also involved including Vodafone. The wireless entities' merger or joint-venture was effective with Spring 2000 as the new entity "VeriZon Wireless".

But it wasn't until Summer 2000 when the landline BA/NYNEX merger with GTE/Contel took effect, also now adopting the VeriZon name. However, there were some reorganizations of GTE's Canadian landline telcos and Telus with Spring 2000, VZ/GTE exiting Canada in 2004. And since 2000 VZ has sold off several other GTE and/or Contel operations in the US and elsewhere, the most recent being the 2009/10 sale to Frontier, although GTE sold off GTE and Contel in the early-to-mid-1990s shortly after buying out Contel in 1990/91, and even in the 1970s/80s both GTE and Contel were selling off some territory in the US and elsewhere.

Mark J. Cuccia markjcuccia at yahoo dot com Lafayette LA, formerly of New Orleans LA pre-Katrina

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Mark J. Cuccia
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History--Bell Atlantic is the "Baby Bell" formed at Divesture of several phone companies in the mid-Atlantic region. Nynex was the "Baby Bell" formed of companies in the New York area. Prior to Divesture, Bell of Pennsylvania, New Jersey Bell, and Diamond State Telephone (Delaware, operated as part of Bell of PA) all had good or excellent service quality. New York Telephone wasn't so good. I don't know the historical quality of New England area telephone service.

Service quality in "Independent" telephone companies, such as GTE (the biggest) and others, varied quite a bit. Some companies had poorly maintained step switches and poor service quality. As mentioned, many of the smaller Independents merged or were bought out by larger companies. A 'swapping' occured where various companies bought/sold exchanges so as to have a contiguous service area instead of a checkerboard.

GTE owned the Automatic Electric company which was a large equipment manufacturer. Part of their business was private internal school and industrial telephone systems.

Anyway, prior to the mergers, Bell Atlantic and Nynex merged their wireless operations. My first cell phone came from their merged operation. Back then I had to pay a separate bill. Today it is combined on my landline bill and I get a slight discount for doing so.

As far as I know, the wireless operation was always a subsidiary unit and remains so to this day. To me, it always operated under a different and inferior philosophy than the pre-divesture traditional telephone company. IMHO, their customer service and marketing integrity could use a lot of improvement, but then they say the other wireless carriers are worse.

Curiously, the fine print on bill inserts and the stamp on the back of payment checks still said the "Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania" until just a few years ago. Now they do not bother to return a payment check but merely electronically acknowledge it, as other large organizations are doing.

Sorry to nitpick, but the company name is spelled "Verizon".

An observation about Verizon's FIOS: unlike traditional land lines, FIOS requires external power to work. It has a backup battery, but it only lasts for a few hours. Some storm-caused power failures last longer than the battery supply. To me that is a major reliability downside. I suffered a recent power failure and I realized I would've been without telephone service, when I needed it, had I had FIOS service instead of a traditional landline.

Reply to
Lisa or Jeff

I had FIOS installed when I moved into my current house last May, And I specificaly asked the installer about that. He responded that many users who woried about such things had installed large capacity UPS's to backup the small built in one. I may do so, but haven't as yet. Both my wife & I have cellphones (and car chargers for them) and one car is normally in the garage, only a few feet from the verizon node, and I can run an (already prepared) jumper from the car battery to the Verizon box.

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