The Teleport Communications Group was established in 1985 as a communications provider in New York City by Merrill Lynch. The company was established as a private sector competitor to the New York Telephone Company and as a participant to the Teleport Project, developed by the New York Port Authority.
The Teleport Communications Group's service offerings were generally used by long-distance carrier companies, such as Sprint and AT&T, as well as financial service companies. TCG operated as an independent company until 1998, when it was acquired by AT&T. Prior to AT&T's $12 billion acquisition of TCG, some of its major investors included Cox Communications and Comcast.