"It's just a matter of who's bill you end up seeing this on," Joe Laszlow, analyst for JupiterResarch, said.
For the last couple of years, broadband providers have been offering multi-tiered pricing for high-speed service, with introductory prices as low as $13 a month. While broadband service in general isn't expected to cost much more, cable operators and telephone companies will certainly be charging more for accessing the services moving over their pipes. What ever they don't get from Internet companies would certainly be wrapped into customers' bills.
"One way or another, it's going to get pushed out to the consumer," Erik Keith, analyst for Current Analysis, said. "Revenue generation is going to have to come from the end user."
The same is true of Internet companies, if they pay more for delivering content, then the cost will have to be made up either through advertisers, consumers or both.
"Some one ends up paying here," Laszlow said.
So no matter what action Congress takes on regulating the use of the Internet by industry behemoths, customers will have to pickup at least a portion of the tab if the cost for either side goes up.