Verizon, under a government mandate to unload the former Alltel systems that overlapped with its own properties, agreed to sell the 79 mostly rural service areas -- including its 1.5 million subscribers -- to AT&T for $2.35 billion, the companies announced Friday. As part of the agreement, Verizon said it would buy five Centennial Communications service areas with about 120,000 subscribers from AT&T for $240 million.

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