The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has decided to begin developing open internet regulation, a move that is upsetting big internet providers such as AT&T, Verizon and Comcast.
Dubbed "net neutrality," the measure is intended to put in place regulations that would prevent these companies from restricting access to internet content, applications and services offered by competitors.
According to TheHill.com, these special interest groups argue they "need to manage internet traffic to keep services running smoothly to all subscribers," and are spending much time and money lobbying politicians in Washington to prevent the proposed regulations from being implemented.
However, the step was greeted with praise by five pioneers involved in development of early internet technologies, including ARPANET and TCP/IP communications protocol.
They released a public letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski in which they say that "as individuals who have worked on the internet and its predecessors continuously beginning in the late 1960s, we are very concerned that access to the internet be both open and robust."
Analysts say that applications such as Google, Skype and Facebook would be among the biggest beneficiaries of "net neutrality."