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Pacific Bell Telephone Company
Type Holding of AT&T
Founded 1880
Headquarters San Francisco, California, USA
Industry Telecommunications
Products POTS, DSL, U-Verse (FTTN)
Parent AT&T (1880-1983)
Pacific Telesis (1984-1997)
SBC/AT&T (1997-present)

The Pacific Telephone & Telegraph Company was the name of the Bell System's telephone operations in California. It gained in size by acquiring smaller telephone companies along the Pacific coast, such as Sunset Telephone & Telegraph in 1917. Purchases extended Pacific Telephone's territory into Oregon, Washington, and northern Idaho; on July 1, 1961, however, those operations were split off to become Pacific Northwest Bell. Entering into the 1980s, Pacific Telephone had assets valued at $14.5 billion, making it the biggest of any of the 22 Bells AT&T wholly owned, which also made Pacific Telephone the "crown jewel" of the operating companies.[1] However, Pacific Telephone was one of the least profitable Bells, due to very tough local telephone regulations in California.

Prior to the AT&T breakup in 1984, AT&T held 89.8% of Pacific Telephone. After the breakup, The Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company changed its name to Pacific Bell Telephone Company and was often referred to as PacBell.


In 1997, Pacific Telesis Group was acquired by SBC Communications, and although the Pacific Telesis corporate name disappeared fairly quickly, SBC continued to operate the local telephone companies separately under their original names.

In September 2001, SBC rebranded the telephone company "SBC Pacific Bell". In late 2002, the companies were rebranded again as simply "SBC". Meanwhile, employees of SBC working in California who support SBC's non-regulated services and/or services provided both within and outside California were transferred to other SBC subsidiaries, like "Pacific Telesis Shared Services" and "SBC Operations, Inc." However, for legal and regulatory purposes, employees supporting local regulated services were still employed by "Pacific Bell Telephone Company dba SBC California ("SBC California")" which is the SBC subsidiary that provides regulated local exchange carrier telephone services within the franchise territory in California.

On November 18, 2005, SBC completed its acquisition of AT&T Corp. to form AT&T Inc. Pacific Bell is now known as Pacific Bell Telephone Company d/b/a AT&T California.


Pacific Telephone & Telegraph logo, 1921-1938 Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co.
This standard Bell System logo was used with the local operating company's name on the top of the logo. In this case, it would be The Pacific Bell Telephone and Telegraph Co. name
Pacific Telephone logo, 1969-1983 Pacific Telephone
In 1969, AT&T revamped its corporate identity, resulting in a simplified Bell logo, absent of "Bell System". This logo remained with Pacific Telephone until 1983.
Pacific Bell logo, 1984-2001 Pacific Bell "A Pacific Telesis Company"
In 1984, following the Bell System divestiture, Pacific Telephone's legal name changed to Pacific Bell Telephone Co., and it received a non-Bell logo.
Pacific Bell logo, 1998-2000 Pacific Bell
In 1998, "A Pacific Telesis Company" was dropped following the acquisition by SBC Communications.
Pacific Bell logo, 2000-2001 SBC Global Network
In 1999, After SBC acquired Ameritech. Shortly after in 2000, SBC began attaching "SBC Global Network" to the ends of its subsidiary logos, resulting in this logo.
SBC Pacific Bell logo, 2001-2002 SBC Pacific Bell
In 2001, SBC proceeded to "unify" its companies by adding the "SBC" corporate logo to the operating company logos, and began advertising Pacific Bell as "SBC Pacific Bell".
SBC Corporate Logo, 1995–1997; 2001–2005 SBC California
SBC eventually dropped the names of all of its Bells in late 2002, and added the title "d/b/a SBC (name of state or region)" to the official names of its companies on January 1, 2003. Pacific Bell's d/b/a name becomes "SBC California". SBC, later AT&T, retained "SBC Pacific Bell" on cards on its payphones, in order to better separate its operating regions.
AT&T California
In 2005, SBC completed its acquisition of AT&T Corp., forming AT&T, Inc. AT&T changed the d/b/a names of its Bell Operating Companies on January 1, 2006, resulting in "AT&T California".


  1. ^ Coll, Steve (1986). The Deal of the Century: The breakup of AT&T. New York: Atheneum.   ISBN 0-689-11757-4 ISBN 978-0-689-11757-2

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