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These access charges became a source of strong controversy as one company after another sought to arbitrage the network and avoid these fees.

In 2002 the FCC declared that Internet service providers would be treated as if they were local and would not have to pay these access charges.

Prior to the breakup, the broadcast networks relied on AT&T Long Lines' infrastructure of terrestrial microwave relay, coaxial cable, and, for radio, broadcast-quality leased line networks to deliver their programming to local stations.

However, by the mid-1970s, the then-new technology of satellite distribution offered by other companies like RCA Astro Electronics and Western Union with their respective Satcom 1 and Westar 1 satellites started to give the Bell System competition in the broadcast distribution field, with the satellites providing higher video & audio quality, as well as much lower transmission costs.

In 1995, AT&T spun off its computer division and Western Electric, exactly as the government had initially asked it to do.

It then re-entered the local telephone business that it had exited after the breakup, which had become much more lucrative with the rise of dial-up Internet access in the early 1990s.

This divestiture reduced the book value of AT&T by approximately 70%.

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This last concession, it argued, would achieve the Government's goal of creating competition in supplying telephone equipment and supplies to the operative companies.The settlement was finalized on January 8, 1982, with some changes ordered by the decree court: the regional holding companies got the Bell trademark, Yellow Pages, and about half of Bell Labs.Effective January 1, 1984, the Bell System’s many member companies were variously merged into seven independent "Regional Holding Companies", also known as Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs), or "Baby Bells".It proposed that it retain control of Western Electric, Yellow Pages, the Bell trademark, Bell Labs, and AT&T Long Distance.It also proposed that it be freed from a 1956 antitrust consent decree, then administered by Judge Vincent Pasquale Biunno in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, that barred it from participating in the general sale of computers.

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