The Bell System was the system of companies, led by the Bell Telephone Company and subsequently by AT&T, which provided telephone services to much of the United States and Canada from 1877 to 1984, at various times as a monopoly. On December 31, 1983, the system was broken up into independent companies by a U.S. Justice Department mandate.

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  • The Bell System was the system of companies, led by the Bell Telephone Company and subsequently by AT&T, which provided telephone services to much of the United States and Canada from 1877 to 1984, at various times as a monopoly. On December 31, 1983, the system was broken up into independent companies by a U.S. Justice Department mandate. The colloquial term Ma Bell (as in "Mother Bell") was often used by the general public in the United States to refer to any aspect of this conglomerate, as it held a near complete monopoly over all telephone service in most areas of the country, and is still used by many to refer to any telephone company. Ma Bell is also used to refer to the various female voices behind recordings for the Bell System: Mary Moore, Jane Barbe, and Pat Fleet (the current voice of AT&T). (en)
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http://purl.org/linguistics/gold/hypernym
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  • The Bell System was the system of companies, led by the Bell Telephone Company and subsequently by AT&T, which provided telephone services to much of the United States and Canada from 1877 to 1984, at various times as a monopoly. On December 31, 1983, the system was broken up into independent companies by a U.S. Justice Department mandate. (en)
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  • Bell System (en)
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