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NBTel was founded as the New Brunswick Telephone Company in 1888 after Bell Telephone Company of Canada's attempt to establish telephone service in the Maritimes failed. The company purchased the assets in New Brunswick, Canada from Bell Canada in 1889. In 1973, NBTel purchased the last independent telephone operator in New Brunswick, giving it a monopoly for telephone service in the province. Owned by holding company Bruncor, which Bell Canada gained a controlling interest in during the 1960s, NBTel was based in Saint John, New Brunswick, until its merger with the other Stentor Alliance companies in Atlantic Canada to form Aliant in 1999.