This story in the New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/05/technology/05secret.html?_r=2) discusses negotiations going on between google and verizon so that google services can get special access to Verizon’s data network. These sorts of agreements are a serious threat to competition on the Internet. The problem is that only large established players are going to be able to afford to pay for the enhanced service. Startup companies will be unable to get fast access to their services for consumers who might otherwise be interested.
The growth of the Internet is threatened if innovation can be stifled by these sorts of pair wise agreements. In order to encourage freedom and innovation we need to find a way to regulate the types of agreements that can be formed, and to ensure that others have access to the same levels of service quality. These principles are important, and they require regulation in order to create and maintain a fair and competitive marketplace of ideas.