Google (GOOG) and Verizon (VZ) have proposed that new regulations should allow some internet services delivered by cell phone transmission networks to be exempt from "net neutrality" and "openness" requirements of current regulation.
The concept of net neutrality (New York Times article) involves assuring that networks are run in such a way that Joe Sixpack's website recieves the same internet access and transmission service as Google and other giants. The entire current situation is reviewed by Claire Cain Mill and Miguel Helft in the New York Times.
To this observer, this proposal sounds insidious. Let's go back to the late 1990s. Let's suppose that someone at that time instituted a policy of exempting broadband internet service from the net neutrality requirements of the dominant technology of the time: 56kb dial-up. The internet today would be dominated by a few giants that could pay for control of the high speed transmission services. What seemed to be peripheral at the time has become mainstream today. There would be few new ventures that could afford to pay for the broadband transmission needed to attract users accustomed to the operational speed that broadband offers.
The Google-Verizon proposal is an attempt to put the camel's nose under the tent. If implemented the camel will soon occupy the entire tent and the locals will be banished to the desert.
Disclosure: Long VZ. No current positions but have been both long and short GOOG in the past two years.