Your May 7 article "Cell phones gain on land lines" article gave interesting statistics. I'm not sure that fighting for local subscribers is so relevant because many of the subscribers also use the large company's wireless services, broadband services and, in a few areas, their broadcast TV services.
My recent experience with reducing local phone services (while retaining the local line) revealed that the representative did not try to sell me other services nor did he discourage disconnection of the services I no longer wanted. Furthermore, the phone company made it punitive by charging me to place the disconnect order!
So it seems the strategy is to sell more wireless and broadband services while collecting revenue for the disconnection of local services.
By the way, since charging for disconnection of local services (not under contract) is a fairly new behavior, I can only presume the state Utilities Commission must approve of this charge for a cost that has long been paid by our many years of using the local phone network.