Regulators approve tougher rules for Internet providers

Federal Communication Commission (FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler takes his seat before the start of an open hearing in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile would have to act in the "public interest" when providing a mobile connection to your home or phone, under new rules being considered by the Federal Communications Commission. The rules would put the Internet in the same regulatory camp as the telephone, banning providers from "unjust or unreasonable" business practices. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Communications Commission has agreed to impose strict new regulations on Internet service providers like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.

The regulatory agency voted 3-2 Thursday in favor of rules aimed at enforcing what’s called “net neutrality.” That’s the idea that service providers shouldn’t intentionally block or slow web traffic, creating paid fast lanes on the Internet.

The new rules say that any company providing a broadband connection to your home or phone would have to act in the public interest and conduct business in ways that are “just and reasonable.”

Much of industry opposes the regulations, which it says constitutes dangerous government overreach. The rules are expected to trigger lawsuits, which could drag out for several years.

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