'This Week': High Stakes Fight over Internet 'Fast-Lanes'

ABC News' Jeff Zeleny breaks down the FCC's new net neutrality ruling and what it means for consumers.
3:54 | 05/18/14

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Transcript for 'This Week': High Stakes Fight over Internet 'Fast-Lanes'
big move in Washington this week that affects all of us that go online. It can change how you get movies from netflix, products on Amazon and how much you pay for them, too. ABC's Jeff Zeleny explains, that debate opened up by the fcc and what it means for you. Reporter: The internet, famously so egalitarian. If you were the inventors of Facebook, you would have invented Facebook. Reporter: Anyone can start a multibillion-dollar business in their dormroom or garage. A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion dollar. Reporter: Is that about to change? One heartbeat away from the presidency. And not a single vote cast in my name. Democracy is so overrated. Reporter: There are new fears Washington might take that wide-open superhighway and turn it into a toll road, allowing internet giants like verizon and Comcast to charge your favorite websites for faster service into your home, leaving you stuck with the bill. And leaving the little guys stuck in the slow lane or never getting off the ground. If this had been in place all along, what innovations do you think we wouldn't have now? I'm not sure Twitter ever gets started because the cable company will say, Twitter? How is this going to make money for us? Forget it. Reporter: Internet providers insist innovation won't be stifled. And say a two-tiered system is a matter of fairness. The debate has drawn protests. But regulators say, don't worry. Personally, I don't like the idea that the internet could be divided into haves and have-nots. And I will work to see that that does not happen. Reporter: The fcc will issue a decision this summer that could pave the way for a new divide on the internet. For "This week," Jeff Zeleny, ABC news, Washington. Let's get more on this now from Cory Johnson, anchor and internet expert for Bloomberg television. Thanks for being here. You have said this will be one of the most consequential decisions ever for the fcc. Why? Because this changes the future of -- all of the stuff we do on the internet, whether it's business, whether it's personal interactions, watching movies on netflix, all those things will be changed by this decision. And break it down a little bit. I think people hear the word net neutrality and their eyes -- Glaze over? This is truly important. It's also really simple. It's just about how fast things happen on the internet. We have painfully slow speeds for internet connections in the U.S. And what this decision is trying to do is allow certain companies to have their own fast lane on the internet. And the law currently allows for that. So, for example, netflix has a deal with Comcast, where they pay extra to move their content faster. That's great if you're a netflix user. Or if you're netflix itself. It's horrible if you're Amazon prime or hulu or a competitor. What if we lived in a world where I would rather watch this show than "Phinaeus and feb." Not my kids. Maybe. But just by the cable provider making that choice, the internet service provider making that choice, they can give an advantage to one business over the other and change the content we consume as citizens. This is going to be a huge battle. You've got the big cable companies, internet service providers on one side. And technology companies are going to spend a fortune. What's your best guess now on how this is going to play out? There's tremendous uproar about this. There's so many companies that will come out and say we have to have fair rules. Everything crosses in the internet. The backbone of the internet is about the same speed. But when it arrives in the last mile, you have a handful of companies with monopolies. Companies like Comcast, time Warner table, a little verizon and AT&T. They control that last mile. They don't want to have rules. They want to be able to sell fast access. And they have a lot of power in Washington, D.C. But you have so many other companies that really want an equal playing field at the end of the mile, the last mile of the internet broadcast, internet speed. And I think they're going to have just a loud as voice in Washington. We'll see. What usually happens in Washington, the biggest spender wins.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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