Partly as a result of vigorous lobbying by America Online, state legislatures are showing an increasing willingness to impose open-access requirements on cable companies providing Internet access. But now AOL, which with its recently announced acquisition of Time Warner is about to become part owner of a cable company, shows signs of pulling back from its lobbying effort.

While the company says it remains committed to open access — a policy that would allow all Internet service providers equal access to consumers who connect to the Internet via cable or other broadband systems — it also claims that it is shifting its strategy.