It’s unclear whether the House rejection of the “net neutrality” principle from the Communications Opportunity, Promotion and Enhancement Act (Cope Act), will encourage telecoms to start deciding on behalf of customers which Web sites they can and cannot visit. But it will make it a whole lot easier. Essentially, the new law, while it might bring down the costs of access, could create a “tiered” system, where the companies, under the FCC’s aegis, could choose to favor some sites over others. EBay, Amazon, Google and others lobbied heavily in favor of the principle.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi warned during the debate on the bill that without the amendment telecommunications and cable companies will be able to create toll lanes on the information superhighway: “This strikes at the heart of the free and equal nature of the Internet.”