35 A PARTNERSHIP BUILT ON TRUST CHAPTER TWO “If it’s not working for us, we can give our opinions and they can change it,” Barth says. Keeping up with the information age posed an ongoing challenge, but NCDC’s telephone co-ops had even more pressing matters. A tectonic shift had jolted their industry. A major antitrust settlement led to the breakup of AT&T, and on January 1, 1984, AT&T turned over its local calling service to regional Bell companies. Long-distance became a competitive business, altering the dynamic for local phone companies such as NISC Member telecoms. AT&T previously paid a flat rate to local phone companies for the last phone link to their customers. Now, under deregulation, long-distance carriers needed a new When American Idol became a TV sensation in 2002, customers raced to their phones to call in their votes for their favorite singers — creating a noticeable increase in call volume for Member telecoms. Mark Momerak discusses NCDC’s Horizon solution with a Telecom user at an NTCA convention. Momerak is now an NISC Product Line Manager.