Don't have a WSJ subscription and so can't get to the text of this one. But if you do the story is online. But according to the summary on CNET news it suggests that the Bells are in trouble and may end up being a sick industry like the railroads.
I value history and have previously opined that the railroads are a good example of the malign consequences of ignoring the natural monopoly character of an industry. In our history it lead to a lot of unwholesome things like robber barons and widespread governmental corruption. A bit more thought and I realize that both railroads and the new Bells are regional monopolies and some of the problems with both were due to unclear jurisdiction and their regional nature.
All very suggestive and I would welcome hearing from a reader who does have a subscription as to just what analogies they draw.