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reply to tmc8080
Re: shift of priorities.. TMC808....The truth is exactly the opposite.
In Illinois, the Democrats have control of both Legislative chambers, and the Governor, and the AG.
They are in the pocket of AT*T.
Verizon sold their ILEC landlines to Frontier, because they would not pay the tab to "lobby" Springfield to change Illinois' laws to help Verizon install FTTH FiOS. I know this from insiders in Springfield. The Springfield establishment was so used to AT*T throwing big $$ around, that they thought that Verizon should pay the same big tabs.
However, Verizon had many Square Miles of ILEC territory in Illinois, but most were rural/suburban in Downstate IL. Nothing in the Chicago city/suburbs for actual ILEC service. (Of course, much actual hardware in Chicago, because of business services there.) Largest Verizon Illinois Metros were Bloomington-Normal, Carbondale, DeKalb. If you have never heard of them, it's because you're not from Illinois.
Verizon had previously bought out GTE's ILEC landlines about a decade before that. GTE was well known thru the Midwest for mediocre service(at best). However, GTE had kept their Midwest HQ's in Bloomington, IL for decades. Once Verizon bought GTE, they shut down Bloomington's Midwest regional HQ down.
Maybe state-level pay-to-play was on the table precisely because the federal policies were that telco could finally sell cable-tv(video) services and would have access to BILLIONS in revenue.. however if you look at the timeline on who was running congress and setting policy in the 90s vs the 2000s my main point stands..
verizon's choice to shift priorities were in a sense directly related to a few main goals... not spend/overspend on pay to play, and at the same time picking winners and losers... the easiest places to pick the winners were the northeast, texas, and the west coast... almost everyone else was a loser..
Verizon will have to make a decision on what it has not already sold down the river to Frontier & Fairpoint. It is doubtful states will let these incumbents in at least part of the remaining geographies keep their current franchise free of competition-- forever..