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The Net-neutrality issue is center stage again with the discussion about the Google-Verizon deal. If you have been to an Apple store recently and looked at the iPad you begin to realize how powerful the wireless provider can be.
The net neutrality idea is conceptually simple. Think of your electricity company and imagine that they could some how control what brand of TV you plugged in. Some brands of TV's say worked and some did not. Sounds ridiculous? Well net neutrality means that your cable provider cannot interfere with your use of the Internet and see this video for a quick idea.Now Google-Verizon is teaming up and saying that they would decide what flows to you when you use the Verizon wireless system to access the Internet. Here the control will be by the wireless carrier Verizon unlike the Apple system where AT&T supplies the wireless and you are sort of constrained by what the Apple apps show you. Think of the mobile ad market and a multitude of other revenue generating routes. In other words the Apple-AT&T model is about control at the downstream point of wireless use at the equipment and the Google-Verizon proposal seems to be about control upstream at the wireless delivery point.
While these companies have to make money and proprietary channels are a sure way of making money but this would sure stifle innovation. You could be using a wireless provider and they might be able to restrict your access,guide your choices because they control the pipe.
Given the imperative of an open Internet it is unlikely that the Google Verizon proposal will go through. Meanwhile new revenue ideas in the wireless space that create user value,without potentially stifling Internet access will need to emerge.