Will a law preserving the right to surf anywhere on the web help or harm consumers? Thatís the debate going on right now among ISPs and content companies in the US.

Representatives of local US telephone and cable companies that offer broadband services said passing a new law could stymie innovation while companies like Google said that could happen without legislation.

Broadband providers have largely pledged that consumers would be able to access any internet site. But some also said they may charge more for services that use faster private internet networks, like downloading movies.

Google and other companies have argued that a private fast internet lane could not only block users from accessing their content and services, but also have a negative effect on innovation.

"We must preserve neutrality in this system in order to allow new Googles of the world, new Yahoos, the new Amazons, to form," said Google vice president Vint Cerf. Mr Cerf is considered one of the founding fathers of the internet.