Seth Godin nails it on the head here. When I read this all I could think was VZ, AT&T, the FCC:
Almost no new idea meets the needs of shareholders and CEOs. That's because most of all they need predictability and apparent freedom from risk. This is why public companies are almost always on the road to disaster. They flee from change in order to do what they think is meeting the needs of those constituents. They fight changes in laws, policies, technologies and markets because their CEO (especially) wants a nice even flight pattern while he racks up big time options.
Public companies have short term goals. At least one of those goals is to make the Board members and the C-Level gang rich. If Whitacre thought long term, he would be dropping fiber in the ground (like he promised). If VZ thought long term, Ivan would be spending millions on Customer Service. If either CEO thought long term they would still have many wholesale customers giving them dough while staving off the cable threat.