The monopoly power being handed over to the cable and phone companies will also encourage them to sell different levels of Internet access, much like they do with cable television. For one price, you could access only certain pre-approved sites; for a higher price, you could access a wider selection of sites; and only for the highest price could you access the entire World Wide Web. This is already the way that many wireless Internet packages operate.
I've often thought that the free-wheeling nature of the Web, which enabled a nebbishy CBS gift shop employee to compete for clicks on equal footing with the New York Times, was a party that would eventually come to an end.
Here in St. Augustine, my choice for DSL has been either BellSouth or nothing at all. Service is comparably dismal to what I've received from the local cable monopoly and DirecTV's near monopoly.