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Cincinnati Bell, Inc.
Type Public (NYSECBB)
Founded 1873
Headquarters Cincinnati, Ohio
Key people John F. Cassidy, President & CEO
Industry Telecommunications
Products Local Telephone Service, Wireless
Revenue $1.403 Billion USD (2008)
Net income $37.5 Million USD (2008)
Employees 2,900 (2005)
Website www.cincinnatibell.com

Cincinnati Bell is the dominant telephone company for Cincinnati, Ohio and its nearby suburbs in the U.S. states of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The parent company is named Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSECBB) Its incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) subsidiary uses the name Cincinnati Bell Telephone Company LLC, and Cincinnati Bell Wireless provides mobile phone services. Other subsidiaries handle services such as payphones and long distance.

Contents

History

Cincinnati Bell started out as the City and Suburban Telegraph Company and was providing telegraph lines between homes and businesses in 1873, three years before the invention of the telephone. In 1878, it gained exclusive rights to the Bell franchise within a 25 mile (40 km) radius of Cincinnati; it has substantially the same ILEC territory today: straddling a 3-state area.

Cincinnati Bell and Southern New England Telephone were the only two companies in the old Bell System that were owned independently of AT&T (AT&T held only minority interests in these two companies); therefore, neither is considered a Regional Bell Operating Company (RBOC). AT&T held 27.8% interest in Cincinnati Bell before 1984. In 1998, SNET was bought by SBC, an RBOC, but Cincinnati Bell has remained independent.

Cincinnati Bell logo with Bell logo, used until mid-2006

During the 1990s, Cincinnati Bell acquired a nationwide transmission network formerly known as IXC Communications and changed its corporate name to "Broadwing Communications," although the local telephone operations continued to operate under their traditional name. In the 2000s, the holding company divested the long-distance operation as Broadwing Corporation and changed its name back to Cincinnati Bell.

Cincinnati Bell is one of only two American companies that continue to actively promote itself under the "Bell" name. As of August 2006, Cincinnati Bell has virtually ceased public usage of the last Bell logo, designed in 1969 by Saul Bass, simply opting to use a stylized, shadowed version of its corporate name on its website. The company had already removed the Bell logo from its telephone directories' covers for some time. However, it still appears on maintenance vehicles and as a favicon on Cincinnati Bell's website.[1]

The newsmagazine 60 Minutes reported in 1989 that Cincinnati Bell cooperated with local police to wiretap local residents in search of alleged communist or criminal activity from 1972 to 1984.[2] In a move widely criticized by consumer advocates, Cincinnati Bell was also the first phone company in Ohio to take advantage of a 2005 state law that lets phone companies raise rates without having to gain approval from state regulators.

Cincinnati Bell's original headquarters, the Cincinnati and Suburban Telephone Company Building, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Wireless service

Former Cincinnati Bell Wireless logo used until mid-2006

Cincinnati Bell Wireless (CBW) offers GSM wireless service in southeastern Indiana, southwestern Ohio, and northwestern Kentucky.

CBW started as a joint venture with AT&T Wireless. Originally, AT&T Wireless owned 20% of CBW. When AT&T Wireless was purchased by Cingular, now known as AT&T Mobility, control of the 20% stake passed to Cingular as well. On February 17, 2006, Cincinnati Bell took full control of CBW by purchasing Cingular's 20% ownership for $83 million. As a part of the deal, Cincinnati Bell and Cingular secured lower roaming charges network on each other's respective GSM networks.[3]

An independent research provider tested Cincinnati Bell Wireless's service in Cincinnati and Dayton and found the company to have the best wireless network in 2005 and 2006. [4]

Cincinnati Bell Wireless ended the year 2007 with 571,000 wireless subscribers.[5]

ZoomTown internet access

Former Fuse logo

Cincinnati Bell offers Internet access to customers in its service area. Cincinnati Bell's Fuse Internet Service provides dial-up access, while its broadband access is through its ZoomTown ADSL service. ZoomTown customers still connect to the Internet through an Internet service provider. Typically, Zoomtown is used in conjunction with Cincinnati Bell's ISP, Fuse, although other local ISPs are available. ZoomTown's ADSL technology currently offers speeds of 5 Mbit/s downstream and 768 kbit/s upstream. [6] ZoomTown started service in 1999. Its primary competitor for broadband internet access is Time Warner Cable's Road Runner cable Internet service. Cincinnati Bell also offers a service called ZoomTown Plus that bundles Internet access with news, reference, and entertainment content, provided though Synacor. [7]

FiOptics

In mid 2009, Cincinnati Bell started offering a fiber-optic based communications (Internet, telephone, and TV) service called FiOptics. It is similar to the FiOS service offered by Verizon Communications.[8] Cincinnati Bell is currently in the process of rolling out the new service to select communities in the Cincinnati area.[9]

See also

References

External links

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