The history of AT&T, until 2002

The funny thing about history: that it’s happening all around you, constantly. Take a look at this article which is really comprehensive about AT&T… until about 2002.

It must have seemed really up to date, like 15 years ago. If you looked at that you would have thought, “Nothing more to write.” However, simply by nature of being done back then, you miss a lot of the really important things that have happened since.

For example:

In 2005, SBC (one of the original spinoff “baby bells”) bought its onetime parent, AT&T. The company was reorganized, the SBC name retired, and the new company was ever after called AT&T.
In 2006, AT&T bought another “baby bell,” BellSouth. This meant the company once known as AT&T Wireless, and known for a short while as Cingular, was once again known as AT&T.
In 2007, AT&T bought Cellular One, one of its larger competitors.
In 2014, AT&T announced plans to buy DIRECTV, and the deal closed in 2016.
In 2016, AT&T announced plans to buy Time Warner, and the deal closed in 2018.

Of course these are just some of the many milestones, and this article will seem incomplete in a few years when even more things have happened with America’s favorite telecommunications company.

Looking back

The amazing thing about AT&T, if you look at it, is just how many times it was there for history being made. The first telephone network. The first communications satellite. The first transistor. The first videoconference-type service. AT&T was at the middle of all of it.

The history of AT&T is the history of America, no surprise from an organization once known as the American Telephone and Telegraph company. From humble beginnings came the world’s first telecommunications powerhouse, and I have a feeling that AT&T has a lot more history to write. I’ll be here reading all of it, and I hope you will too.


About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.