The Boston Herald story was interesting. But in that case it was probably Intrado that dropped the ball, not Verizon. In any case, this all demonstrates that E-911 is a complex system, and complex systems fail all the time.
But the general consensus is that the incumbent carriers are trying to do one of two things. Either they're trying to throw off the yoke of what little regulation still exists, or they're trying to kill VoIP providers. I'd bet on the latter.
Right now the incumbent carriers are playing all sort of games because their revenue streams are being threatened. Just look at the efforts they've thrown in to killing government owned metropolitan 802.11 networks.
Instead of lowering prices and investing in research and development, the incumbents would rather rake everyone over the coals in search of profit.
It isn't that profit is a bad, just that excessive profit rankles, particularly when used as the reason for a corporation to behave in an abhorrent manner.