New 'net neutrality' rules mean conflict, court battles for big telecom

Elections have consequences.

That's the message new Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski will deliver Monday morning during a highly anticipated speech at the Brookings Institution on national broadband policy. Genachowski will outline the Obama's administration's position on "net neutrality," the bitterly contested principle that broadband carriers should not be able to discriminate against legal Internet traffic on their networks.

The proposed FCC rules could mark a major victory for consumers and internet companies, and deal a blow to powerful broadband interests including AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. But Genachowski's speech is merely the opening salvo in what is sure to be a lengthy and contentious conflict.