Verizon is going to be years ahead of AT&T on this issue. AT&T thinks that they'll get something in a federal bill, but even the latest bill in the Senate would subject AT&T to the same conditions as everyone else, so this 'shock and awe' legal approach will not work, long term. said by FFH5:
"While I like Verizon and their Fios rollout, they are not in favor of local franchising."
They may not be in favor of local franchising, but as the article said, they don't believe it is the great "barrier" as it has been described.
Whose method works best can only be known in the long term. But, Verizon's method is definitely working for them in the short term.