The Boston Globe writes:
AT&T Inc. and BellSouth Corp. are lobbying Capitol Hill for the right to create a two-tiered Internet, where the telecom carriers’ own Internet services would be transmitted faster and more efficiently than those of their competitors.
The proposal is certain to provoke a major fight with Google Inc., Yahoo Inc., Time Warner Inc., and Microsoft Corp., the powerful owners of popular Internet sites. The companies fear such a move would give telecommunications companies too much control over a fast-growing part of the Internet.
The battle is largely over video services. Several major telecom companies are working on ways to deliver broadcast-quality television over the Internet. Currently, online video can be slow to download and choppy to watch, even with higher-speed Internet services.
The proposal supported by AT&T and BellSouth would allow telecommunications carriers to offer their own advanced Internet video services to their customers, while rival firms’ online video offerings would be transmitted at lower speed and with poorer image quality.