If they are going to do it, now is the time to move forward.
If I had the bankroll, I would buy or conduct a hostile takeover of Level Three Communications. It is a badly run company that would give them an impressive backbone structure and control of most of the major ISPs using their fiber including AT&T.
Which begs the question, why haven't they gone into the ISP business in the first place?
Perhaps they don't want to drop the $Billions that would be needed to build-out the network, plus the ongoing expense to support plant maintenance & repair, customer service, admin, etc? Just thinking about getting the rights-of-way to build a network from the ground-up makes my head spin.
. . . Wiltel is a supplier of backbone fiber to the major carriers.
Point-taken, but Willtel is a different animal . . . a backbone provider. The point of the article; however, seemed to be directed at end-user -facing ISPs. Wiltel isn't among them, they're just one of their suppliers.
Actually, I wonder what the FTC would think of the vertical integration that would occur if Netflix/Google/etc would make a move for someone like Level3; wonder if there could be anti-trust issues there.