Ruling has some good,
some bad, critic says"> Effective opposition from Internet firms may, however, have already been subdued, behind the scenes by content developers and producers who didnt support the ISPs. "Consumers have long worried about there being a walled garden in online content," said Taplin. "That is that one provider will advantage one content carrier over another. For example, Amazon.com was worried that a provider might favor Barnesandnoble.com, and, in a broadband era, provide one with good video, and another with grainy video. That could impact sales."The larger online merchants, however, appear to have been the source of language in the FCC order that states that consumers have the right to access any content they want via the Internet. "Thats a bold statement," said Taplin. "So there is some good, and some bad, in the ruling."The FCCs chairman, Martin, an appointee of President Bush, said that the telecom market has changed dramatically. The changes in the marketplace require what Martin calls "fresh" analysis. "In taking these actions, we recognize that change is never easy," said Martin. "Nor can it be effectuated overnight." As a consolation, the FCC is ordering that telecom and cable companies continue to provide ISPs access to their fiber optic cable for another year, during a transition phase. Martin said the actions by the FCCwhich may eliminate a number of ISPswill actually "increase Internet access competition." The only way that will happen, given the new rules, is if Earthlink, AOL and other major ISPs embrace "wireless Internet accessin a big way," said Nuvios Talley. Gene J. Koprowski is a freelance writer who has written about the computer industry for 20 years. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, views and analysis on voice over IP and telephony.