A while back I linked to a Doc Searls post about the coming conflict between old-school tellecommunications companies and the market changes being driven by the internet.
The fatbacks have fired their first shot: "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."
For the rest of us, thats Verizon (they own AT&T) and SBC (SouthBell Corp's usual brand), and they're basically trying to legislate themselves a position to squeeze money by breaking the end-to-end nature of the internet. They'll get a fight from some other major players who don't want to see their own content under the thumb of the telcos, but the real issue is what happens to you and me and the 50% of teenagers who are content-creators online.
We could very well end up with a cartel of telcos and bigtime content providers (e.g. TimeWarner) who essentially bribe congress into turning the internet in the US into a broadcast medium. That would suck.