I recently listened to a podcast, moderated by John Battelle, from the Web 2.0 summit. The panel discussed various issues related to the information economy and how forces in Washington are currently shaping the public policy surrounding these issues. One topic of discussion was net neutrality. There are major players on both sides of this debate: telecommunications on one side and some giants in the technology industry (like the panelists from Ebay and Amazon) on the other.

On the subject of net neutrality, the ALA states, “A world in which librarians and other noncommercial enterprises are of necessity limited to the Internet’s “slow lanes” while high-definition movies can obtain preferential treatment seems to us to be overlooking a central priority for a democratic society — the necessity of enabling educators, librarians, and, in fact, all citizens to inform themselves and each other just as much as the major commercial and media interests can inform them.

The ability of the Internet to spread and share ideas is only getting better. With modern technology, individuals and small groups can produce rich audio and video resources that used to be the exclusive domain of large companies. We must work to ensure that these resources are not relegated to second-class delivery on the Internet – or else the intellectual freedoms fostered by the Internet will be constrained.”

One aspect in a non-neutral net, ISP service, could look something like this:

Image Credit

(Thanks Cory at Boing Boing)