The recently announced Google/Verizon joint compromise proposal on net neutrality rules has definitely caused a furor. The debate on net neutrality, which has been going on for most of this decade, reached fever pitch last week when Google and Verizon reach an agreement regarding traffic prioritization. Under their proposal, wireless networks would be essentially exempt from rules requiring equal treatment of Internet traffic. AT& T was quick to weigh in with their support of the plan, stating that wireless networks cannot provide the same amount of capacity as wireline networks – and thus should have the right to manage traffic.
Amidst all the controversy, about the only thing clear is that it’s still far too early to draw conclusions about what the final outcome will be. Until the proposals and counter-proposals result in final resolution, we can expect uncertainty to reign – and that impacts companies that are directly affected by the issue. An example of such companies are mobile content providers. For this group, the prospect of a tiered internet, where carriers could easily favor their own content over wireless networks and could crowd out competitors with their additional services, is not a pleasant one.
A wise strategy for these and similarly affected organizations will be to keep their options open as a way of assuring their own mobile destinies. With new technology approaches becoming available in the industry – such as xG’s cognitive radio network solutions – it behooves these companies to consider alternatives in order to protect their business models and control their futures.