Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak applauds after the Federal Communications Commission voted to approve net neutrality Thursday. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 Thursday to adopt net neutrality rules for an open internet.

The FCC's decision makes for regulating internet service providers like public utilities, prohibiting companies from charging for faster lanes on the internet.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler and commissioners Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel, all Democrats, voted for the measure. Michael O'Rielly and Ajut Pai, both Republicans, voted against.

The FCC's new policy replaces one adopted in 2010, but which was put on hold because of a legal challenge by Verizon Communications. Last year, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the FCC did not have "sufficient regulatory power over broadband."

The Open Internet Order helps to decide an essential question about how the Internet works, requiring service providers to be a neutral gateway instead of handling different types of Internet traffic in different ways — and at different costs."

Verizon Communications announced it was furious with the ruling and issued its disgust in Morse Code, Ars Technica reported.

Cable and broadband providers have fought against the new policy, while companies such as Netflix and Etsy had lobbied for it.

In November, President Barack Obama called on the FCC to implement a strict policy of net neutrality and to oppose content providers in restricting bandwith to customers.

The White House issued a statement by Obama on the ruling:

Today's FCC decision will protect innovation and create a level playing field for the next generation of entrepreneurs–and it wouldn't have happened without Americans like you. More than 4 million people wrote in to the FCC, overwhelmingly in support of a free and fair internet. Countless others spoke out on social media, petitioned their government, and stood up for what they believe."

Legal challenges are expected with the ruling, The Wall Street Journal reported.