The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a sham. Designed to open up the proprietary lines of the telecom giants, allowing spunky start-ups to compete, it never really worked. Jeff's Phone Co. was never able to make any real money, and never provided a real service - it was just a billing agent. AT&T has re-formed, and telephony is back to regional monopoly status.
Until now. Here's what we always needed. Not an illusory opening up of AT&T facilities, but a real, physical alternative. A separate system of lines, switching stations and - most importantly - telephone poles. Sure, with these poles, we'll only be able to establish a network about half a block long. But it's a start. "The mouse that roared" will be the company's slogan. We'll genetically engineer a mouse/lion hybrid to be our mascot. But that may be getting ahead of ourselves.