Not Neutral Now
The web isn't neutral, as long as we view the web as the use of individual websites. First, there is a cost associated to using the internet. We can't read blogs, hear podcasts, or watch YouTube videos produced by the homeless. The best sites have the most money, plain and simple. There are exceptions here and there, but for the most part the popular main-stays are profit-driven, even if they do not start out that way.
These profit-driven sites are always looking for consensus, as the more people there are visiting, the merrier the advertisers. Google is a fine example, and as mentioned in Orlowski's article:
[Journalists] are rarely aware they're buying consensus reality. Google is not the power to sit at your home and be an individual, it allows other to make up your mind for you. Only about a year ago Googlebombing or linkbombing was a popular way to influence people. Typing "failure" would provide George W. Bush's biography, "liar" would produce a link to Tony Blair. As stated in Google's Official Blog,
We don't condone the practice of Google bombing, or any other action that seeks to affect the integrity of our search results, but we're also reluctant to alter our results by hand in order to prevent such items from showing up. Pranks like this may be distracting to some, but they don't affect the overall quality of our search service, whose objectivity, as always, remains the core of our mission.
It was fun while it lasted, but Google has upgraded their algorithm to limit the effect of Googlebombing.
The reason I think that the big phone and cable companies should not be making massive profits (along with gas, electricity, railroad and other sectors that have been monopolized over the years) is that they are selling commodities disguised as qualitative products. We can argue which phone company has the best customer service, and there is a fine argument as far as service and dropped calls with cell phones, however these mass-produced technologies could be done well very fast by one overseeing government agency that worked efficiently and reduced overlap. Of course because of lobbying, fear of big government, and the tendency that the government doesn't always do the best job this will not happen.
Net neutrality is much more possible than TV or radio neutrality at this point, because of non-neutral sites like search engines and link-providing blogs. I just want people to realize two things. One, the net is not neutral, get over it, but wikipedia tries to be if you need an outlet. Two, utility companies are be just that, utilities. Sure, they put a lot of time and money into creating or buying our current systems, and profits can develop (or buy) new technology, but they are selling quantitative commodities as qualitative products. These utilities are commodities everyone needs (or at least needs to to fit in with the advanced part of society) to have a good living. It is hard to get a job, receive an income or have friends without a phone (Can I have your number? Actually no, I can't afford one.).
I don't have a solution, but I see a need for reform. A phone call is a phone call, and transferring a packet is transferring a packet, but I think it is unethical to purposely put the world at different speeds. Tar roads are not built to speed profits, but to enhance efficiency over gravel. This should be the same for the net. When and where it is used, ample service should be provided. Hype or no hype, the hardware of the net should be neutral. The content should be left up to the users.