It's up to the FCC to decide who wins the battle over "net neutrality."
On Monday, President Barack Obama asked the Federal Communications Commission to set the "strongest possible rules" to protect net neutrality as the agency writes new Internet access regulations.
The proposal pits liberal advocates of tougher regulation of Internet service providers—to treat them as public utilities—against conservatives who say it's an unnecessary government intrusion on the Web.
On Wednesday, Republican lawmakers railed against Obama's plan.
In a letter FCC Chairman Thomas Wheeler, they said proposals were "beyond the scope of the FCC's authority and would defy the plain reading of the statute.''
In a tweet earlier this week, tea party favorite Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, likened net neutrality to Obamacare for the Internet. "The Internet should not operate at the speed of government," he said.
The issue will be decided by Wheeler's five-member commission. Three of the commissioners, including Wheeler, are Democrats. the others are Republicans. The commission, which next meets in December, will not vote on the issue until next year, press secretary Kim Hart told the BBC.
Wheeler appears to want a more nuanced solution, according to The Washington Post. During a meeting Monday with officials of major Internet companies, Wheeler reportedly said: "What you want is what everyone wants: an open Internet that doesn't affect your business. ... What I've got to figure out is how to split the baby."