John Blossom writes: "CNET News covers proposals for new U.S. legislation backed by major broadband Internet access providers to charge varying rates for varying types of traffic. This is a move which is meant to increase the ability of major ISPs to pave the way for more profits as video programming, IP telephony and other streaming media begin to gear up for Web delivery. While some of the proposed legislation (PDF) provides good basic regulatory reforms in light of the merging of telecommunications, television and Web marketplaces, it also sets the stage for ISPs trying to move from Internet access being a neutral commodity to a service that will have tiered pricing for different levels of access quality for content providers. Given the bandwidth-intensive requirements for streaming video and other content sources reliant on high bandwidth services there's perhaps more than a grain of sense to this proposal. But it also may wind up deterring the market penetration of these services as content providers find themselves having to wrestle with a new layer of commercial arrangements that may have to be onpassed to their audiences in one form or another more directly. ..." Link: Shore.