WASHINGTON, Sept. 21 (UPI) -- U.S. regulators were preparing to propose "net neutrality" rules barring Internet service providers from blocking Web content, officials say.
Colin Crowell, a senior counselor to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, says the chairman would lay out the proposals in a speech Monday at the Brookings Institution in Washington, USA Today reported.
The move to enforce "net neutrality" has long been sought by consumer groups and free speech advocates who fear that Internet service providers such as telecommunications and cable television companies could attempt to block services or content, such as TV shows, over the Internet, the newspaper said.
President Barack Obama voiced support for net neutrality while on the campaign trail last year, saying all Web content should be treated equally.
"The FCC wants to make sure that access to the Internet is open, fair, transparent and non-discriminatory," Crowell told USA Today.
The newspaper said the new rules would likely be phased in over several years and would be extended to include wireless companies providing Internet access via "smart phones."