The Big Telcos have been leading a massive Lobbying charge in Washington to gain favour for a “Tiered Internet.” In question is the fundamental concept of “Network Neutrality”. The Telcos heavily favour interference in the data stream to bias the content-provider and client business model. They want to charge successful Internet companies to ensure content arrives smoothly.
I, pessimistically, foresee the intrusive oversight efforts being granted by the current administration, probably in the light of a Law Enforcement intiative.
My argument is that the exterminated p2p companies (the infringing Napster and Grokster) prove that Tiers are not only unnecessary but also that (most importantly) in destroying Network Neutrality, the Telcos lose the “Safe Harbour” provisions of Internet Legislation (like the Napsters etc). Plainly speaking, if you can filter Good content and be paid for it, we can also force them to be responsible for the Bad. We can envision a scenario where a business can sue the Infringing provider for hosting a Zombie-net in the event of a outbreak. The financial windfall will be heavily biased against the Telcos.
The full paper is available here