"AT&T has built its broadband business, both wired and wireless, on the principal of Internet openness," AT&T said in a statement. "That is what our customers rightly expect, and it is what our company will continue to deliver. That is also why we endorsed the FCC's original rule on Net neutrality, and is why we pledged to adhere to openness principles even after the recent court decision."
Wheeler, in his announcement, said he would pursue Net neutrality rules under Section 706 authority, but he also left open the possibility of reclassifying broadband as a regulated common carrier service.
The two Republican commissioners at the FCC criticized Wheeler's move. The FCC has twice lost court cases after attempting to enforce Net neutrality rules, critics said.
"I am skeptical that this effort will end any differently from the last," Commissioner Ajit Pai said in a statement. "The Internet was free and open before the FCC adopted Net neutrality rules. It remains free and open today. Net neutrality has always been a solution in search of a problem."
Several congressional Democrats praised Wheeler's move to pass new rules. Wheeler "has proposed a series of actions that put consumers back in the driver's seat when it comes to their online experience," Representative Anna Eshoo, a California Democrat, said in a statement.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.