Re: ...and how well did that work out for us?
Here in little ol' Blighty we had the General Post Office (GPO), which held the monopoly on all letter and parcel services, Post Office Counters, and telephony.
Such was their grip on British infrastructure, and such was the political grip on their revenue expenditure, that telephony development struggled to keep up, even when measured against goat based economies.
True, given the freedom and money to go for it, they cobbled together the first electronically programmable computer in the world, many years before the pretenders to that throne locked horns, but that political will, to operate at the cutting edge, is seldom found in Westminster.
It wasn't until the monopoly was broken up and British Telecom became a thing, that innovation started being delivered to the Great British public. Prices started to fall, and the service started to improve. Even the operators who were all direct decedents of Her Majesty, Queen Victoria, started being replaced by normal humans.
Don't get me wrong, I'm a bit of a socialist, and prefer natural monopolies to be owned by the nation they serve, and at one time, telephony did appear to fall into that category, but technology has given us many more options and therefore competition has flourished and delivered.
If Ma Bell had continued, would America now be enjoying the fruits of modern communications, or the luke warm offerings of an organisation that has had no imperative to advance any faster than its political puppeteers would allow at their annual budget horse trading contest?