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Net neutrality rules may be thrown out in December

The FCC is expected to unveil a plan next week to vote on rules barring internet providers from throttling the stuff you watch, read and listen to online.

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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai (center) has said he supports net neutrality in principle. 
STEVE BALDERSON/FCC

Landmark regulations protecting content online may begin to unravel next week. 

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission is expected to roll out plans to hold a final vote on a major 2015 net neutrality order that bars internet service providers from blocking or slowing online content, according to a Reuters report, citing two anonymous people familiar with the matter. 

Net neutrality is the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally, so your internet service provider can't selectively throttle or clamp down on your access to any particular content.

Supporters of the 2015 net neutrality order say those rules ensure broadband providers don't abuse their power as gatekeepers to the internet by discriminating against competitors offering similar digital content and services.

Ajit Pai, the head of the FCC, has said he supports the principles of net neutrality but objects to the utility-style legal framework the 2015 rules were based on.

Next week, Pai plans to set a final vote on his proposal for the FCC's Dec. 14 meeting, according to the report.

The FCC didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment.