If you’ve dealt with a lot of older computers, you might be familiar with the address “sbcglobal.net”. So what is this? Normally, we’d say it sounds like a web address, but when you enter it into your browser, nothing comes up. The truth is a little more convoluted but equally interesting.
First off, SBC stands for Southwestern Bell Corp. Here’s where things get tricky: in 1984, AT&T split up into multiple smaller divisions owned by various arms of SBC(nicknamed “Baby Bells”, because corporate types aren’t great at humor). Technically, SBC was a holding company for all these mini AT&Ts.
In 2005, one SBC division, SBCGlobal, bought AT&T and renamed itself “AT&T Inc”. We know, this is all pretty complicated. Long story short: SBCGlobal was an internet services company that has since rebranded and moved on.
So What is the Address?
This is pretty interesting, but we’re still no closer to discovering what sbcglobal.net is. All we know is that it isn’t a website. Well, the answer might surprise you…
SBCGlobal used to offer its customers email address with the suffix of “sbcglobal.net”. Although you can’t get one of these addresses anymore, we all know how hard it can be to switch to a new email account. As such, many older users have retained this address for the sake of convenience.
It actually goes even further than that, though. “Smtp.sbcglobal.net” is the outgoing server address used for these old systems. Without it, the user can receive mail, but can’t send any themselves.
The Plot Thickens
So SBCGlobal is dead, right? Well, sort of. Nowadays, thanks to a complex series of sales and mergers, users can check their SBC email via Yahoo! Mail. They can also log into the AT&T portal, should they prefer.
However, just because you can doesn’t mean you should. In the best case scenario, your SBCGlobal email account is over a decade old. As such, it’s likely bombarded with spam on a daily basis, so if possible, you should sign up for a new email address. There are plenty of free options available that are not only easier to use but also include all sorts of features that just weren’t possible back in the early 2000’s.
You should also consider that because AT&T is having to justify keeping this service alive, you might find that you have to change your mail server address every few years. This is unlikely to discourage the most committed users, but it’s still something to think about.
Finding out what SBCGlobal.net is requires significant amounts of research and digging into the early days of the internet as we know it. The truth is that although the service is still technically available, there’s no reason to cling to it.