I'd rather avoid Mr. Doran's
vision of which provider can out last their screaming customers longer.

I'd rather too. Unfortunately that is always the nature of business:
increasing profitanility can be achieved by charging more or by
reducing value provided to the customer. If customers are unwilling to
pay more for the current maoist (let all flowers bloom, that's it) Internet,
it'll die, exactly like small groceries.

At least when ANS tried this last time, they offered to compensate
some of the mid-level networks for some of the investment made in
local and regional networks.

That was different. ANS then was the only game in that forest, and
they were quite unwilling to look monopolistic. Now if you don't
like Sprint you can go to MCI and vice versa.

The Internet seems to have been incredibly successful by not following
the traditional telco way of doing business. I don't know why the
facilities based telecom companies model would produce a more useful,
solid or sustainable business model just because it is being thought up
by a manager at a facilities based telecom company.

They can do things right. Telephone service is ubiquotus, cheap and
dependable. Compare to Internet.

The problem with telcos is that changes in their thinking are inevitably
linked to changes in management. There's a lot of high-level managers
who put their reputations on Internet being nothing more than an
academical toy. Some of them will go away. Some will join the cheering
crowd and try to do damage control. Five years ago, the idea of a telco
doing Internet was so ridiculous that my friends laughed at me. Now
try to find telco which doesn't have an Internet service.

How is that marketing plan for ISDN coming along?

ISDN was broken as designed from the very beginning. I understand
telcos unwillingness to deploy it quite well. But this tells more
of design by standards commitees than of telco managers.

Billion dollar companies can have bad ideas too.

They can afford it.