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(LATimes) — A battle is about to erupt between federal regulators and telecom companies, and nothing less than the future of the Internet could be on the line.

At issue is a seemingly benign question: Is the Net an information service or a telecommunication service?

As it stands, high-speed Internet service is classified by the Federal Communications Commission as a “Title I” information service in the same way that Google is an information service. This means broadband providers such as phone and cable companies are only lightly regulated by the agency.

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