Without Common Carrier status, predatory companies like Comcast will inevitably start demanding a take of any profitable new economic activity dependent on the Internet. They will be able to use the threat of arbitrary service disruption to make demands on independent businesses. They will also start offering "tiered" services, where access to various protocols will be dependent on paying for special "elite" or "gold" subscriber status. Running a website will be out of the question without paying an assortment of special fees, split among a consortium of business interests and justified by appealing to precedents like HDTV and "Trusted Platform Computing." There will be legal and antitrust wrangling over the matter, but how effective has that been recently against digital age would-be monopolists? (Think Microsoft.)
Read http://www.eff.org/testyourisp for a little preview of what is in store as Comcast starts rolling out new packet control techniques.