NOT a dollars and cents issue
I am the Chair of the Shutesbury-Leverett Broadband Committee (www.slbc.us). Thanks you all for your thoughtful and encouraging comments. I was at a wedding this weekend or I would have been participating more.
That "It just doesn't make business sense" argument drives me crazy. These days, it is so easy for anyone to say "If it were up to me, I'd give you guys what you want, but we have shareholders to answer to." People are so scared to appear opposed to market-based approaches to anything that they don't dare inquire further. The reality is (and this is common knowledge in the industry) that VZ loses money on every single DSL subscriber. It's strategy is to undersell the competition (cable cos) in order to retain market share. This is obviously not sustainable, but the telecom industry is converging and the marketplace is very uncertain. Verizon has an antiquated copper network, and until it can replace it with fiber (nationally, not just a couple high profile towns), VZ has got to compensate for inferior services with loss-leading pricing, hard-nosed anti-community lobbying, and reliance on their customers' blind faith in the incumbent provider.
A little good PR would make a big difference (and we've been trying hard for years to give them some), but we now have enough pathetic examples of VZ bumbling that we are now convinced that it not just strategy, but largely corporate dysfunction, that explains why VZ won't even acknowledge us. We can only do so much to help them rationalize.
Thanks again, all.