In this article AT&T CEO whines about investment without regulatory relief. That means opportunity for anyone willing to build and take business away from Ma Bell. It is this thought process that has resulted in cable taking most broadband and triple-play bundles from the telco. It is why analysts are calling cable the incumbent phone company in 2017.
"AT&T’s third quarter strategic business services growth was offset by the decline in legacy services. Legacy data services declined 15.8% year-over-year to $1.8 billion, while legacy voice and other services declined 6.2% year-over-year to $3.2 billion."
They bought DirecTV for the content savings and the subscriber revenue which has been declining since the merger was completed. Now spending on OTT video, which had an outage in week 2.
Also, DTV was a pipeline to LATAM (Latin America) as most service providers look outside the US for growth. Zayo, Jive, Birch and others have all made purchases in Canada. 8x8 has opened in Japan and UK. I guess it was too much work to eke out organic growth here at home.
Consolidated is buying Fairpoint, which is a combo of 2 RLECs that will have 80% of its revenue in legacy services. Windstream and CenturyLink are heavy in legacy, so is Frontier. I guess you either focus on legacy and own it - or you don't so you lose.