Tech companies and internet providers are poised for another dramatic showdown as the head of the Federal Communications Commission revealed a plan Wednesday for rolling back his predecessor’s rules mandating a free and open Internet.

The proposal from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai marks the first step toward undoing a key decision of the Obama era, one that forced Internet providers to behave more like legacy telephone companies. The stricter rules for ISPs had made it illegal to block or slow down websites for consumers – and they paved the road for other policies, such as one governing online privacy, which was overturned in a separate controversial move by Congress and President Trump earlier this year.

Pai’s attempt to reverse the net neutrality regulations rekindles a high-stakes debate over the future of the web. Internet providers argue they need weaker rules in order to continue upgrading their networks and to find new ways of making money. Consumer groups say giving ISPs freer rein will cause them to abuse their powerful position as gatekeepers between customers and the rest of the Internet, controlling what Web users can see and do, and at what cost, online.

Pai’s proposal is set for a vote at the FCC’s May 18 open meeting. If it is approved, Pai will begin seeking public feedback on the plan, which calls for regulating ISPs more lightly and asks Americans for ways to preserve the core principles of net neutrality while giving ISPs greater flexibility.

Internet activists are gearing up for a war of public opinion over the proposal. The last time the FCC considered the rules, in 2015, critics and advocates of net neutrality flooded the FCC’s electronic systems – submitting millions of comments, and setting an agency record, before the creaky database ground to a halt.