DOJ Knocks Down 'Net Neutrality'

Says ISPs should be able to charge consumers more for priority traffic
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2007 8:35 PM CDT

(Newser) – Internet service providers should be able to charge a premium for customers who want certain content to load faster than others, the Justice Department said today. In a recommendation to the FCC, Justice claimed "net neutrality"—the idea that all websites should be equally accessible—could slow online growth, keep ISPs from upgrading services and stick consumers with unnecessary costs.

"Whether the same type of differentiated products and services will develop on the Internet should be determined by market forces, not regulatory intervention," the agency said, citing the Postal Service's tiered rates for varying deliveries. Net neutrality supporters said that ISPs such as Verizon and AT&T could use the ruling to discriminate against certain websites and services.