Understand this people - there are times when our republic (I'm speaking now to other U.S. citizens, I apologize to my international readers) needs to hear from us deinzens of the 'net - and this in one of those times (I just don't think our emails will help us with the War in Iraq but I think they could matter here). Let me introduce you all to the concept of "Net neutrality." Actually let me introduce you to a bunch of helpful sites - that way you can visit them first if you don't want to hear me ramble.
PC Mag Story #1
PC Mag Story #2
Save The Internet site
Wikipedia on Net Neutrality (watch for edit wars)
Information Week coverage
Home page of Rep. Ed Markey (seen above)
Public Knowledge video on net neutrality
Ars Technica coverage including debate between Craig Newmark (Craig's List) and Mike McCurry (former White House spokesman now telecom lobbyist)
Ars Technica coverage of HR 5417
U.S. Senate home page (find and contact your senators)
U.S. House home page (find and contact your reprsentatives)
The long and short of it depend on who you talk to. The telecoms will tell you that legislation in this arena is not necessary because there aren't any problems yet. Without knowing anything else about the issue, does that sound like a BS argument to anyone else? Why regulate plane safety until there's a crash right? The idea is that the network providers (Verizon, AT&T, Time Warner, et al) want to be able to create a two-tier network and charge different Web sites varying rates, some higher and ostensibly some lower. This would entail the telcos acting as gatekeepers to the Internet and only those able to pay would be able to get in the fast lane. This has similar overtones to the debate over Lexus Lanes.