Federal regulators that are seeking to put additional regulations on Internet provider companies will release and vote on new proposed rules on net neutrality by February, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Tom Wheeler, top telecommunications regulator for U.S. President Barack Obama, told his fellow commissioners at the FCC before the holiday season that he intended to release a draft for a proposal next month to be circulated internally among them.

Wheeler expects to move forward the approval of the proposal weeks later, according to an official that chose to remain anonymous because the deliberations of the agency on the issue are still ongoing.

The net neutrality rules are meant to prevent Internet service providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, from slowing down or speeding up Internet traffic for certain websites compared to other websites.

Kim Hart, a spokeswoman for the FCC, did not issue a comment regarding the communications that Wheeler sent to his colleagues. However, Hart did confirm that there was a timetable set for a February vote, ending weeks of speculations on when the agency would be making its next move regarding the issue.

It is still not yet clear what regulations Wheeler is thinking of for Internet service providers. Officials and analysts that are close to the FCC say that there has been an increasing push for much more aggressive restrictions compared to the initial ones proposed by Wheeler.

Advocates for stronger net neutrality, one of which is President Obama himself, have called for the FCC to start regulating Internet service providers with the same laws that it uses to monitor and regulate telephone service companies, namely Title II of the Communications Act.

Advocates for the Internet service industry, however, have largely resisted the proposals, stating that the FCC should proceed with lightly regulating Internet service providers under the laws of Title I of the mentioned act.

Policy experts mostly assumed that the new regulations would be released early in 2015 after the agency missed its initial target of releasing the new laws in December 2014.

The next meeting for the FCC is scheduled to be held on Feb. 26.

The timing of the meeting reveals that Wheeler is shunning the need for additional public comments on the advantages and disadvantages of using Title II to regulate Internet service providers. It also means that the agency will be clashing head on with Congress on the issue of net neutrality, as Republican lawmakers are assumed to be introducing legislation within the month to preempt any ruling of the agency.

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