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Subject: Correction Re: How Sprint Got Its Name
Date: 05 Jan 1998
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom

Hi Pat.  I subscribe to the TELECOM Digest and read same on a time
permitting basis.  Recently in the December 16, 1997 edition (V17|348)
you were talking about the meaning of the name "Sprint".  I've been
with Sprint for 22 years, and started with Southern Pacific
Communications.  I was at the time that SPC began offering their
dial-up service which later came to be known as "Sprint" the engineer
responsible for transmission and interface design of the network used
to provide the service.  The origin of the name is as follows:

We began offering a dial-up service shortly after the Execunet II
decision late in 1978 (there had been prior attempts to do this, but
they had met with limited success at best in obtaining FCC approval).
Prior tot the Execunet II decision our offering was limited to a FAX
service called "SpeedFAX, since competitive dial-up voice was not
permitted.  When we began to offer dial-up voice it was decided that
we needed a name for the product that would differentiate the service
from the FAX offering, and that we needed a name for the service.  Rex
Hollis, the VP of Marketing at the time (now with Loral), ran a
contest to select a name.  The winning entry was "Sprint", and was
submitted by Tony Broadman (now with Qwest).  "Sprint" never really
meant anything, but it makes an interesting story.  It was only after
the name began to catch on that attempts were made to "force-fit" it
into an acronym.

Ron Havens

Date: Fri, 3 Sep 1999 09:54 EST
From: (Fred R. Goldstein)
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: Sprint's History

Lessee ...

The Southern Pacific Co. had a microwave network along its tracks, so
when MCI got going, they joined in the fun too.  It was originally
called SPCC (Southern Pacific Communications Corp.).  They came up
with the name "Sprint" in an internal contest to come up with a name
for a new service, and it caught on.

GTE bought SPCC from Southern Pacific.  The long-distance network
became known as GTE Sprint.  GTE also bought Telenet from BBN
(ca. 1980), and put Telenet under Sprint.  This evolved into Sprint's
Internet operation.

In the early 1980s, GTE sold part of Sprint to United Telecommunications,
and it became US Sprint.  A few years later, GTE sold the rest of
Sprint (which was still losing money, something GTE didn't like to do)
to United.  While Sprint the LD company was more than twice the size
of United, the profitable regulated telco swallowed it up Pac-man
style.  It then changed its corporate name to Sprint Corp.  The United
Telephone companies eventually became "Sprint local", as did Centel,
which Sprint (the former United) gobbled up in the early 1990s.

There never was an independent Sprint LD operation, though it's now
the tail that wags the dog in Kansas City.

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