2010 Prediction No. 4: Net neutrality becomes a reality

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski wants to impose net neutrality guidelines on wireless, as do the majority of commissioners--and lawmakers once critical of the FCC's activities appear to be backing off. Given the surprisingly swift pace the commission has moved in regards to sweeping changes, I expect net neutrality to rear its ugly head in 2010. The question is: What will it look like for mobile operators? I can't predict that one. Genachowski promised that any new net neutrality rules pertaining to the wireless industry will allow operators to practice "reasonable" network management so that data-heavy applications don't pull down networks. But the FCC doesn't yet understand what "reasonable" means.