barman has read the UK issues almost right.
The copper connection is owned by on Telephony company.
The cable by another.
And satellite by a third.
The mobile phone companies also provide a service -at a much higher cost,of course.
Each company has a telephony service, internet broadband service and digital TV service.
And, more to the point, each provides its service with a complex package and heavy duty contract that sells by heavy marketing with the only competition from the other sectors. Each has a monopoly on most or all of the UK in their own technology fields, with other providors either locked out by the infrastructure or forced out by the competition
Or to put it another way, you can't opt for a cheaper providor with no email, or a better, more extensive one, or a simply different one with a package that suits you better - unless you able to switch the infrastructure too.
So, I'm very happy with my phone and email service and fast broadband, through cable.
But when my ISP decided to give a free upgrade to 10mb to their 2mb customers, but kept 10mb customers on the same package, all I could do was complain inefectually - because I do get a very efficent service with cable internet/phones/TV.