Why in the world would they be paying that much? I remember reading about a recent rush by otherwise healthy companies to issue tons of debt. Reason? Because it's practically free.
I don't think WE should be paying Verizon to rebuild anything that isn't regulated. If it's regulated, maybe, since we limit the profit they can make. However, Verizon has also been accused of "fixing" their books by pushing all kinds of expense into their regulated area to artificially inflate rates. This likewise deflates the true operating expenses of their non-regulated LOBs where it doesn't matter how much profit they show (other than corporate taxes).