It must have been a cellphone network. Or in those days whatever was as integral to every day life. Lets call it the post office.
The post office was operated by the private sector. It all started so well and then one day mail started going missing, was delivered late, or was simply not available at all.
Slowly the people became frustrated. Not visibly, but like a frog in a kettle. As the temperature rises the frog acts unconcerned. Then “POW!”, the frog explodes.
The post office was nationalized because the people lost patience with the private sector. Communism arrived. And then things became really unreliable!
Communism is a bad idea. But cocking up cellphone quality is a sure way for history to repeat itself.