It's not hard to switch home ISP's; sorry, it just isn't. Try changing service providers for a midsize business. It takes me, on average, ninety days to get an Ethernet circuit delivered to one of my customers. This is regular, business-grade fiber Ethernet from major players like AT&T and Cogent. It's a non-stop uphill battle to establish services. This is because the engineer wants something the outside plant people don't like, the provisioning team never requested the address space, the splice case is in a manhole under three feet of snow and the field techs won't dig (for real), the install tech wasn't dispatched with the right equipment, or whatever... It never goes smoothly, and the circuits are rarely delivered on time. It is a hair-pulling nightmare to switch service providers, and that's aside from all of the internal network stuff that needs to be done. A savings of $300-400 per month on a $2,500/mo circuit is hardly worth it given the lead time and hassle. Switching from DSL to cable at your house is too hard because you're stuck dealing with terms you agreed to? Sorry, look elsewhere for pity.
I question ATT's ability to close COs and eliminate bulky class 4 and 5 switches anytime soon. Most SMB IP services aren't delivered natively, but rather via AT&T's legacy TDM network, like 6MB Ethernet on 4x T1 circuits. Lots of wire is needed to backhaul these services (8 pairs for the above), and moving circuit cards closer to the customer seems like it would be a step in the wrong direction. There will be a need for DS1-based network support until these customers in particular can be moved to Ethernet via fiber, or some other modern delivery platform.