The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved a measure that would regulate the services rendered by phone and cable companies.
According to media reports, the FCC voted 3-2 in favor of a plan that would essentially allow the government to police the Web by prohibiting Internet or cable providers from discriminating against rival content or services. The three Democrats on the committee supported the measure, while the two Republicans opposed it.
In a written statement, President Barack Obama said that the plan will "help preserve the free and open nature of the Internet while encouraging innovation, protecting consumer choice and defending free of speech."
According to FOX News, some Republicans believe that the administration's push toward net neutrality may impose unnecessary regulations on an industry that is a rare bright spot in the current economy. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has urged the President to leave the Internet alone, as he has already nationalized healthcare, banks and student loans.
Verizon, which is the largest mobile telecommunications provider in the United States, is concerned that government intervention may cause uncertainty for innovators and investors.
"There is no doubt that the policies put in place by the Clinton Administration and the Bush Administration to jumpstart innovation and the spread of broadband worked," said Tom Tauke, Verizon executive vice president of public affairs. "As a result, America's broadband and Internet marketplace is intensely competitive and an engine of economic growth, job creation and multibillion-dollar investment. Today's decision, however, unnecessarily departs from these successful policies."