Businesses that have a Web presence have a great deal to think about, from the design and maintenance of their sites to customer privacy matters to order fulfillment and billing. Corporate managers typically do not concern themselves with any Internet access issues, believing there are low barriers to entry for Web-based content, applications and services, and understanding (if it indeed crosses their minds at all) that an individual’s blog and the most popular Web sites are all treated the same.

Such equal access, however, is at the heart of a relatively unpublicized political battle currently taking place in Congress. The subject, known as “net neutrality,” has strongly divided members of the House and Senate, not exclusively on party lines. At this writing, it is not at all certain what the result will be. Various Internet and software companies have mobilized to support efforts to legislatively mandate net neutrality, an effort that is being opposed by major broadband providers such as the cable television and telephone industries.