The wave of telecommunications mergers continued this week as
In that sense, the deal falls into the same category as
That's one of the reasons so many content providers and application developers urged the
The FCC responded in February by adopting the most stringent rules yet against ISPs favoring some content and service providers over others. The rules have been roundly denounced by the major U.S. ISPs, including Verizon, AT&T and Comcast, whose trade associations asked a federal court Wednesday to put the new rules on hold pending an appeal. They're also backing a bill that would set some basic net neutrality rules while barring the FCC from adopting broader ones.
We believe that the FCC acted properly and that strong neutrality rules are necessary, but either the courts or Congress will have the final say on that. Meanwhile, Verizon's purchase of AOL should remind policymakers of the time not so long ago when America Online connected customers to just that part of the Internet it controlled. Back then there were scores of other ISPs to choose from if users didn't like AOL; today, there's just a handful. But as long as the FCC's neutrality rules remain in place, consumers will be free to steer their browsers wherever they choose.