Verizon (Actually it's predecesors Bell Atlantic and Nynex) have been deploying fiber since the early 80s. Verizon has more fiber deployed, even minus the fios fiber, then Time Warner probably will ever have. Verizon's core network/inter office facilities have been running in excess of 10 gig for over a decade with legs now running in excess of 320 gig.
Once it hits the CO/pop/RT every phone call made runs on fiber, every T1 runs on fiber, every DS3 runs on fiber, every gig-e, every fractional......
Time Warner cannot even come close to the bandwidth capabilities Verizon has and has had for many years. The Bells were the pioneers in the deployment of fiber.
I did not have time to look it up earlier, but here is some perspective.
Time Warner-- 24,000 miles of fiber in their network.
Comcast-- 90,000 miles of fiber in their network.
Verizon-- 250,000 miles of fiber in West Virginia alone!
To make statements that the telcos were 10 years too late to the party is an uninformed opinion. The rbocs were the first to deploy fiber and did in a big way, but not with consumer data in mind. Rboc fiber was deployed toward a different end. They were selling dial tone and business data and built a network to carry that second to none. Consumer data connections were not a market until the 90's. The cable companies were not investing and building with an "eye" toward the future-- they just got lucky that their network was more rapidly and economically adaptable to consumer data needs than the telco networks were.
Cable has spent pennies on their networks to deliver data and it will catch up with them in time.