In what appears to be largely a partisan vote the House has rejected a Net Neutrality provision that would have prohibited carriers from giving special status to data for content providers who are willing to pay the extra fees.

The vote fell largely along party lines with Democarts voting in favor of Network Neutrality and Republicans voting agains it.

There is still some hope for the concept in a Senate bill that has more bi-partisan support, but this bill has weaker language in it. I guess we’ll see if this bill will get some strength both in language and in political support. Otherwise, the open Internet will quickly get turned in to a two-tiered Internet with the upper tier only available to major companies willing and able to pay the higer costs to get preferred treatment. The egalitarian nature of the Internet that has fostered so much bottom up content that could find an audience may be over.

Why? Simple. The upper tier of content (which will also be provided by the same carriers who are charging others) will get delivered at ever better speeds and priority. The lower tier will be delivered at degraded speeds and smoothness. Which content will most people want to consume?

If AT&T over voice over IP (VoIP) phone service do you think they will give equal packet priority to Skype users? Not likely.