Network neutrality — also called "net neutrality" — is, according to the SavetheInternet.com Coalition,
"the guiding principle that preserves the free and open Internet. Net neutrality ensures that all users can access the content or run the applications and devices of their choice. With net neutrality, the network’s only job is to move data — not choose which data to privilege with higher quality service. Net neutrality is the reason why the Internet has driven innovation and economic growth. It’s why the Internet has become an unrivaled environment for open communications, civic involvement and free speech. But there’s currently no law on the books protecting net neutrality. If Congress doesn’t take action now, the future of the Internet is at risk." 
In a October 19, 2007 AP article, Peter Svensson outlines some of the history:
The "Net Neutrality" debate erupted in 2005, when AT&T Inc. suggested it would like to charge some Web companies more for preferential treatment of their traffic. Consumer advocates and Web heavyweights like Google Inc. and Amazon Inc. cried foul, saying it's a bedrock principle of the Internet that all traffic be treated equally.
While AT&T and other companies have backed off on their desire to charge more for some customers, the practise of controlling Internet content, known as "traffic shaping" has begun to appear in other forms. Associated press reports Internet providers such as Comcast have begun actively blocking some forms of file sharing.
- Mark Cuban, "Hey Baby Bells & Cable, We need multiple tiers of service," Blog Maverick, January 15, 2006.
- Declan McCullagh, "Why conservatives and libertarians should oppose Net neutrality," Politechbot, April 25, 2006.
- K.C. Jones, "Net Neutrality Debate Heats Up. As a House committee gears up to vote on whether to require the FCC to enforce the notion of equal Internet access for all parties, the blogosphere is weighing in," TechWeb News (InformationWeek), April 26, 2006.
- Patti Waldmeir and Jenny Johnson, "Telecoms groups win ‘net neutrality’ battle in Congress," Financial Times (UK), April 26, 2006.
- Dan Farber, "Net neutrality loses another round," ZDNet Blog, April 26, 2006.
- Matt Stoller "A Letter to the Verizon/AT&T Five," MyDD, April 26, 2006. The following Democrats, who voted "against a free internet", received from "cable and telecom company interests": Ed Towns (D-NY) $22,000; Al Wynn (D-MD) $19,100; CharlieGonzalez (D-TX) $16,500; Bobby Rush (D-IL) $21,000; and Gene Green (D-TX) $12,000.
- Jim Puzzanghera, "Panel Vote Shows Rift Over `Net Neutrality'. A House committee rejects a bid to ban extra charges for faster, more reliable delivery of data," Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2006.
- Jay Fitzgerald, "Two-tiered Internet: Panel paves way for fees," Boston Herald, April 27, 2006.
- Burt Helm, "Tech Giants' Internet Battles," BusinessWeek, April 27, 2006.
- Robert Litan, "Catching the Web in a Net of Neutrality," Opinion, Washington Post, May 2, 2006. (Litan is a senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution).
- Craig Newmark,"Commentary: Keep the Internet neutral, fair and free",CNN.com, June 10, 2006
- Press release, "Internet Freedom Coalition Responds to Moveon.org's Resurrected 'Net Neutrality' Agenda ," Internet Freedom Coalition via PR Newswire, April 26, 2007.
- Peter Svensson, "Comast Blocks Some Internet Traffic", Associated Press, October 19, 2007.
- Chris Frates, "Christian group clashes with right over Net rights," Politico.com, May 21, 2008.