Broadband providers AT&T and Verizon Communications said they will wait until they see the full language of the proposal before deciding whether to support it.
Genachowski's plan appears to closely follow a compromise that AT&T has supported earlier, said Jim Cicconi, AT&T's senior executive vice president of external and legislative affairs.
"The prospect of net neutrality regulation has lingered as a very real threat to industry investment and jobs for several years," he said in a statement. "Obviously, AT&T's strong preference would be for the FCC to refrain from any regulation in the Internet space. We feel the industry's track record, the utter absence of any specific ongoing problem, and the state of the economy all argue for regulatory restraint."
Others praised the plan. Genachowski's efforts are an attempt to preserve an open and free Internet, said Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist.org.
"Common-sense rules of the road will help ensure certainty in markets while also preserving the openness and freedom of the Internet that has helped generate millions of jobs and share billions [b] of ideas around the world," he said in a statement. "To clarify, I'm interested in preserving traditional American values like fairness and a level-playing, with the least amount of government involvement."
Venture capitalist Ron Conway, a co-founder of SV Angel, also praised the plan. "I treasure the Internet as an engine for innovation and economic possibility -- protecting its openness is vital to protecting America's critical technological competitive advantages," Conway said in a statement. "This light-touch, common-sense framework will help protect investment and innovation throughout the ecosystem and will ensure certainty in markets for years to come."
However, some groups calling for strong net neutrality rules criticized Genachowski's plan as a weak attempt. The plan, without equal rules for mobile broadband and other protections for consumers, is "fake" net neutrality, said Josh Silver, president and CEO of Free Press, a media reform group.
The plan appears to be similar to a compromise proposal earlier this year from Verizon and Google that would split the Internet into "fast and slow lanes," Silver said in a statement.
"Real net neutrality means a clear prohibition on paid prioritization, equal protections on wireless and wired networks, and a clear user-focused definitions of broadband access and reasonable network management," he added. "But is appears that the current draft order falls short on each of these important aspects, with language that creates loopholes that you could drive a Verizon-Google-sized truck through."
The FCC stepped up efforts to pass net neutrality rules earlier this year, after a U.S. appeals court ruled in April that the agency overstepped its authority when attempting to enforce informal net neutrality principles in a case involving Comcast throttling peer-to-peer traffic on its network.
Just this week, broadband backbone provider Level 3 Communications and modem maker Zoom Telephonics complained that Comcast is violating net neutrality principles in its dealings with the two companies.
Grant Gross covers technology and telecom policy in the U.S. government for The IDG News Service. Follow Grant on Twitter at GrantGross. Grant's email address is email@example.com.