Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler changed his tune last week and hinted he might be willing to help preserve an open Internet. He should go all in and present a plan to the FCC next month that reclassifies and regulates Internet service providers as common carriers (similar to a public utility).

Wheeler had been floating a proposal to fundamentally alter the way the Internet works today. His plan, supported by broadband giants such as Verizon, proposed that major websites such as Amazon.com could pay a premium fee to be in their own fast lane (with their data delivered quickly to customers). Other online players with fewer resources – including startups and artists – would be left in a lane with potentially slower load times for consumers.

The plan drew millions of negative comments from Internet users who demanded that the FCC preserve what is known as net neutrality.

Wheeler made no promises during his Jan. 7 appearance at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but he signaled to the tech-savvy crowd that he would champion rules that include “no blocking, no throttling, (no) paid prioritization.”

By reclassifying broadband Internet service providers, the FCC would ensure that the Internet stays a place where information flows freely and ideas have equal opportunity to spread. The next Facebook or YouTube stands a better chance of getting noticed.

Wheeler says he plans to submit detailed plans to the FCC on Feb. 5. A final vote is scheduled for Feb. 26. The panel must stand up to industry lobbyists. The vast majority of Americans who favor net neutrality will be watching.