TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: GTE and Verizon; SBC and AT&T, in Southern California

GTE and Verizon; SBC and AT&T, in Southern California

Anthony Bellanga (
Wed, 26 Jul 2006 20:58:49 -0600

DLR <> wrote in "Phones on Brady Bunch":

> Anthony Bellanga wrote:

>> I read on a tribute website about the Brady Bunch that for all five
>> original ABC-TV seasons (1969-74), they NEVER had a touchtone phone
>> at all in the house. They always had a standard rotary dial phone.
>> Since the setting was southern California, I wonder if it could be
>> assumed that they were always served by a "Step-by-Step" office, and
>> one which didn't have DTMF to DP converters! Afterall, Mike would
>> have been able to afford Pacific Telephone's monthly touchtone
>> surcharges! :-)

> I thought Southern Cal was GTE.

Southern California, specifically the Los Angeles extended metro area,
has been a *HODGE PODGE* of General Telephone (or their predecessors)
and Pacific Telephone going back to the 1920s. The GTE areas were the
early dial independent telcos that had originally come about prior to
the 1920s as competitors to Pacific Tel (Bell).

There was also some Continental Telephone in the mix, mostly to the
east of the basic L.A. Metro Area, but Contel was taken over by GTE in
the early 1990s.

The Palm Springs area further to the east is exclusively GTE.

The San Diego area to the south is exclusively Pacific Tel (Bell).

Of course today there are CLECs and wireless, but the incumbent
landline telcos in southern California is still a hodgepodge of
Verizon (legacy GTE and Contel) and the -NEW- "AT&T" (legacy SBC,
formerly Pacific Bell Telephone).

The immediate Los Angeles Metro Area has both GTE (Verizon) and
Pacific Bell Telephone (at&t) in ways that you could go back and
forth between the two several times in just a short 5 or 10 mile
drive! It's almost like the hodgepodge of area code splits that
have occurred in Southern California in the past 15 years.

A bit of irony here -- when the breakup of the Bell System took effect
in January 1984, Pacific Telesis was spun out as the holding company
for both California's Pacific Bell and also Nevada Bell. The spun-off
BOCs had the exclusive rights to use the "Bell" logo, while former
parent company and long distance provider AT&T was forbidden the use
of the "Bell" logo. AT&T went to that first "death star"
logo. However, Pacific Telesis corporate chose NOT to use that 1970s
era "Bell" logo. Pacific Telesis used the touchtone star logo, and
applied it to its two BOCs as well, Pacific Bell and Nevada Bell.

When SBC tookover Pacific Telesis circa 1997, they did NOT
"re-introduce" the "Bell" logo into California and Nevada. And over
the past ten years, SBC eliminated the "Bell" logo for Southwestern
Bell, as well as Ameritech which it also tookover sometime around
2000. Southern New England Telephone in Connecticut dropped the "Bell"
logo with 1984 -- they started up their own unique logo which has been
modified a few times since. But the "Bell" logo was also NOT
"re-introduced" in SNET Connecticut when SBC purchased them circa

(FWIW, Cincinnati Bell still retains the "Bell" logo)

Bell Atlantic and NYNEX have always "more or less" retained the
"Bell" logo. BA kept it for both corporate and the individual BOCs
(NJ Bell, Bell of PA, Delaware's Diamond State Tel, and the four
Chesapeake & Potomoc Telcos). NYNEX initially did NOT use the "Bell"
logo for corporate but did retain it for its two BOCs (NY Tel,
New England Tel & Tel). When the NYNEX name replaced the use of the
NY Tel and New England Tel names, NYNEX corporate simply adopted the
"Bell" logo. And when BA and NYNEX merged circa 1997/98, both of
them were using the "Bell" logo.

Verizon was formed in 2000 by the merger of Bell Atlantic (including
NYENX) and GTE (including Contel; at least what GTE and later VZ have
retained of old GTE and old Contel). The "Bell" logo has been retained
by VZ in BA (and NYNEX) territories, but it has also been introduced
into VZ-held legacy GTE (and Contel) territories when it comes to
basic local telephone services, such as repair trucks, directories,
monthly bills, and even telco-owned payphones. Note that VZ Wireless
does NOT use the "Bell" logo, nor various aspects of VZ that are not
"basic local landline telephone functions".

So, in places where SBC or Qwest (US-West) is the local telco, but
there is also VZ-retained legacy GTE (or Contel) in those states, you
won't find the "Bell" logo in the legacy BOC areas (SBC or Qwest), but
you WILL see occurrances of the "Bell" logo in the VZ areas that had
once been GTE (or Contel)!

And this includes southern California!

In areas that are at&t-once-SBC-once-Pacific Telephone, you won't find
the "Bell" logo (unless there are OLD signs that haven't been taken
down or fell down), but rather the recent revised at&t deathstar
"marble". But in areas that are Verizon-once-GT&E-or-Continental, you
will probably see the VZ logo alongside the "Bell" logo of the 1970s,
such as on VZ-owned payphones, VZ-printed directories, bills for VZ
local landline telephone service, etc.

As for US-West, in 1984, "corporate" did not retain the "Bell" logo,
but the operating companies (Mountain Bell, Pacific NW Bell, and
Northwestern Bell) retained their "Bell" logos. When the US-West
corporate name replaced the old BOC names for those BOCs, the "Bell"
was retained and then adopted by corporate. But when US-West and Qwest
merged in 2000, the Qwest "ride the light" ribbon logo replaced the
"Bell" logo, along with the Qwest name replacing the use of the
US-West name.

BellSouth (Southern Bell and South Central Bell) retains the "Bell"
logo (and name), but with the -NEW- 'AT&T' (SBC) about to takeover
BellSouth, everything regarding 'AT&T' name and marble deathstar will
replace the old names and logos.

As for the Brady Bunch, Southern California, and telcos, I always
remember seeing "Bell" (Western Electric) 500 sets, "Bell" (WECO)
payphones, etc., maybe Bell (WECO) Princess and Trimline phones as
well. I don't ever remember seeing GT&E Automatic Electric phones or
other equipment used in the Brady Bunch.

In the Los Angeles Metro area:

GTE (VZ) has Malibu, Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Redondo, Long
Beach (and virtually all of area code 562), communities to the east of
Pasadena (Pasadena is AT&T-once-Pacific Bell) extending to San
Bernardino, and other scattered communities.

Pacific Bell (AT&T) has Los Angeles, Hollywood, Beverly Hills,
Culver City, Inglewood, Compton, Gardena, Anaheim and most of area
codes 714 and 949 (Orange County), Riverside, and other communities.

You might be able to find some maps of California's telco service
territories at the California Public Utilities Commission website,

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