Bye-bye, Ma Bell!
It's been a long time since Lily Tomlinson's Telephone Operator From Hell would terrify customers by saying: "You don't understand! This is the Telephone Company." Judge Greene broke up Ma Bell into seven regional telephone companies plus a much-reduced AT&T to provide long-distance service. Now, the former Ma doesn't even provide long-distance, but is just one of several wireless companies (mine, as it happens). And last week the New York Stock Exchange demoted her from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, to be replaced by -- oh, the shame of it! -- Apple, the company that provides its most popular smartphone.
To cap it all, there is still one telephone company left on the DJIA. That is Verizon, formerly Nynex, the spin-off Baby Bell that served New York and New England. It too is mostly a provider of wireless service.