WASHINGTON (AP) — Internet activists are declaring victory today over the nation's big cable companies.

This, after the Federal Communications Commission voted to impose tough new rules on broadband providers like Comcast and Verizon, to keep them from creating Internet "fast lanes" for content providers that pay more.

The 3-to-2 vote marks a new era of government oversight for an industry that, until now, hasn't seen much of that.

The new rule requires that any company providing a broadband connection to your home or phone has to act in the "public interest" and refrain from using "unjust or unreasonable" business practices.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler says it's a "red-letter day for Internet Freedom." And President Barack Obama says it's a victory for democracy in the digital age.

Verizon, though, sees it differently. It's pointing out that the FCC relied on legislation from 1934 to regulate the Internet.

Industry officials and congressional Republicans tried to head off the new regulation. They said it amounts to dangerous overreach and that it would eventually raise costs for consumers. The broadband industry is expected to sue.