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What was the 'open internet'? I genuinely am not comprehending what drove AOL and Compuserve to tear their walls down.

While the internet as such existed, at the heyday of AOL&Compuserve residental users were not able to get a connection to internet as such at reasonable prices.

By the 'open internet' I mean the arrival of ISPs who offered consumers direct connectivity with all the internet, competing with AOL who offered connectivity to, well, AOL.

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