I'm well aware of Verizon being in business long before and how the system operates; I spend 30 years with GTE until I retired, in COE and built many of the systems from the Step to 5ESS. A Cox CO that is in operation is a NT system and has battery backup for their systems, not having been in the office in some years, I'm not sure it it supplies battery to its customers over the coax, maybe now fiber, but I would guess that the modem in the customers home would go down; that is a major problem, that regular phone customers may not have; but how many people that you know have just regular phones? I have wireless phone that runs on AC, they have battery backup, but that is for memory, so phone company customers may have dial tone, but still can't use their phone or even DSL. I have AT&T (SBC/PacTel) for my service and have not had problems, but then I have a full backup system, plus we have solar electric panels on our house which supply our power needs and most of the year send power back into the grid. As with the cable companies, Verizon is deploying Fiber Optic cable and I think they will have many of the same problems as cable companies have.
You said that your cable company was Charter Communications, we have them here in Riverside, I would guess that they are better then the first few we had over the years, but I still stick with the LEC, mainly because I get a retirement concession from Verizon for my phone service and if I had cable service I would not get it.
The Only Good Spammer is a Dead one!! Have you hunted one down today? (c) 2007 I Kill Spammers, Inc. A Rot In Hell Co.