http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_neutrality_in_the_United_States

Regulatory history of broadband

In the US, Broadband services were once regulated differently according to the technology on which they were propagated. While cable Internet has always been classified by the FCC as an information service free of most regulation, DSL was once regulated as a telecommunications service subject to unbundling requirements. As the two types of networks have increasingly provided the same services, it has become difficult to justify different sets of rules, leading to the question of which rules should apply to both.

Towards the end of 2004, the US legal system voided the rules requiring telephone operators to unbundle certain parts of their networks at regulated prices, which had as a consequence the economic collapse of many competitors in access services[citation needed].