A few days ago Om Malik drew my attention to the state of the telcos vs. the cable operators and how it's not only voice that moving away from the telcos. It's broadband too. The reason in my book though goes beyond simply the speed issue. It's also about customer service.
In the 80s and 90s the cable operators as a group began attacking the "Cable Guy" image head on. They worked very hard to change the perception that they had acquired. And it worked. That said, we all hear the horror stories about Comcast or Time Warner, and that has come as a result of simply rapid growth. That said, I'll take my cable folks over the telcos any day.
To me, this creates opportunity. Municipalities, like Cambridge, MA and over-builders, like SureWest in Sacramento have proven they can be better, and cheaper, than both the telcos and the cable operators. To me, the future of great service, and competitive pricing will come from these upstarts, not the legacy carriers who have forgotten how they got to where they are today.