US telecommunications regulators have formally proposed new "net neutrality" rules.

The rules may let Internet service providers charge content companies for faster and more reliable delivery of their traffic to users.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Tom Wheeler, who proposed the new rules has come under fire from consumer advocates and technology companies.

The rules allow some "commercially reasonable" deals, in which content companies could pay broadband providers to prioritize traffic on their networks.

Mr Wheeler's two fellow Democrats at the FCC concurred with him for 3-2 vote to advance the proposal and begin formally collecting public comment.

Although they expressed misgivings about the plan.

"I believe the process that got us to this rule making today is flawed.

"I would have preferred a delay. I think we moved too fast to be fair," said Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel.

Critics worry the rules would create "fast lanes" for companies that pay up and slower traffic for others.

Although, Mr Wheeler has pledged to prevent "acts to divide the Internet between 'haves' and 'have nots'."