The power outage for phone argument is over used. Yes it happens, and you can easily argue that a single more robust wireless solution in some cases would be better as the electrical and phone are going over the same poles.
The reality is in most cases copper costs more and takes longer to upgrade services. Yes they get money to maintain, both from customers and the government. But I could really care less if they can offer something better with the money I'm spending today and in the future. For most people, most of the time, wireless can offer a better service. Most people don't consider their phone service married to copper, its just what it happens to use at the moment. Offer them better service on a different medium and they'll jump at it.
The point being this isn't necessarily some nefarious plot. The union doesn't like it because fixing wires keeps people in a job. But the end customer for the most part could care less and is currently being held back by copper.