10 Telecom Predictions for 2012


ISP Regulation Throwdown

How much regulation is too much? Debates about fixed and mobile broadband regulation got heated in 2011, and the dispute over Net Neutrality has some activists forecasting a doomsday scenario in which the Internet as we know it will end in 2012.

Net Neutrality in its simplest form means that ISPs can’t give preferential treatment to or control (by speeding up or slowing down) certain content on the Internet. While some open-Internet advocates thought the FCC’s measures didn’t go far enough, critics on the opposite end of the spectrum decried the rules as overreaching.

The FCC’s net neutrality rules took effect on November 20th, and Verizon was quick to counter with an appeal, citing concern over the FCC’s use of broad authority to impose “sweeping” and “unneeded” regulations that would cause uncertainty in the communications industry. Verizon’s challenge will be decided before the D.C. circuit court of appeals in 2012 and, if successful, could cut the government out of the open Internet debate for good.