Packet Numbers vs. Numbers of Packets
I think the thing that we need cleared-up with regards to the Net Neutrality discussion is that a distinction needs to be made between protocols (i.e., content) and bandwidth (i.e., speed).
I have no problems with ISPs setting up a "tiered access" model, where the money you pay determines the max bandwidth accessible to your cable or DSL modem.
In other words, it should be well within an ISP's right to charge for Internet access according to some speed/bandwidth schedule, like:
-- $xx/month for 1.5Mbps down/384Kbps up
-- $yy/month for 3.0Mbps down/512Kbps up
-- $zz/month for 15Mbps down/768Kbps up
However, I **do not** believe that an ISP should be able to throttle my bandwidth, or move me into another access tier, based upon the content (i.e., type of packet) entering or exiting the cable/DSL modem at my business or residence.
I subscribe to an ISP because they are, ostensibly, an Internet Service Provider. They are to provide me with access to "The Internet" (caps intentional) as a whole, not "the ISP's version of the Internet." I pay them to pass packets I send upstream, and to pass packets I receive downstream.
They should not have the right to inspect the packets, determine their type, and then charge me based upon the structure, content, or source/destination of the packets, because at the bit-for-bit level, all packets are the same. To do otherwise is a gross invasion of privacy (and in some countries, runs afoul of wiretap laws - although the there is currently some "fuzziness" in the US regarding this particular point).