Cisco CEO John Chambers slams 'net neutrality'

It would be "a major mistake" to regulate Internet service providers more like public utilities to make sure they grant equal access to all content providers, Cisco CEO John Chambers told CNBC on Thursday.

The technology executive argued that an "open Internet," in which Internet users would not have to pay more for higher speeds of broadband, would have negative implications on innovation, jobs and the economy.

Read MoreFCC could defy Obama on net neutrality, commissioner says

"I think it was a major mistake to revisit Title II. I've just come out of Europe last month. The European commissioners, country leads, [and] companies view the U.S. model as the one that is right and our broadband buildout over the last four to five years has been very good, probably one of the best in the world," he said on "Squawk on the Street." "To go back to a 1950s, voice mentality with Title II and net neutrality would be a tremendous mistake for our country."

Cisco, which makes network equipment, including for ISPs, would not be the only ones negatively impacted by a policy of "net neutrality," Chambers said. He argued it would hamper innovation and quality of service across the board.

Read MoreNet neutrality will bring more choice: Advocate

"You won't be able to introduce the digitization of companies in business," he said. "This is a very bad decision, and I think the whole country has to rally behind. This will cost the country jobs and economic leadership. A major mistake to head this way."

Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Cisco chairman and CEO John Chambers.

On Monday, President Barack Obama issued a statement in support of "net neutrality." Though a platform in his 2008 presidential campaign, it was nonetheless a rare intervention by the White House into the policy setting of an independent agency.

Read MoreObama: Stronger broadband laws needed

The president also said the FCC's new rules should apply equally to mobile and wired ISPs, with a recognition of special challenges that come with managing wireless networks.

"Simply put: No service should be stuck in a 'slow lane' because it does not pay a fee," Obama said in a statement. "That kind of gate keeping would undermine the level playing field essential to the Internet's growth."

The FCC is expected to decide on Obama's proposal next year.

Read MoreBattle lines form on Obama net plan

—Reuters contributed to this report.