Proponents of heavy-handed Internet regulation (under Title II of the 1934 Communications Act) have long compared broadband service to public utilities, such as water, electricity, and landline telephone service.

But only one in three Americans think regulating the Internet like a telephone monopoly is a good idea. Recognizing this reality, high profile Title II-supporting individuals and organizations and, such as Free Press and Public Knowledge, are walking back their embrace of utility-style broadband.

Here are just a few examples of Title II proponents advocating a utility model for the Internet:

Tim Wu (Columbia Law Professor who coined the term “net neutrality”)

It’s time to face facts: Broadband is a utility and ought to be treated as such by the Federal Communications Commission.

Public Knowledge (Art Brodsky)

As for “public-utility” regulation? They make that sound like a bad thing, when it doesn’t have to be that bad.

Save the Internet (Free Press)

“The public outcry has been clear in its opposition to FCC Chairman Wheeler’s proposal to allow cable companies to force websites big and small to pay in order to get their content to load faster,” said Daily Kos Campaign Director Rachel Colyer. “The FCC must heed the call of the public to protect an open, equal Internet by treating it as a public utility.”

“With this unprecedented public response, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler now has an obligation to abandon his flawed plan and truly protect Net Neutrality by pushing forward with reclassification and treating Internet service providers like any other utility company,” said Democracy for America Executive Director Charles Chamberlain.”

“The right thing for the FCC to do is to listen to those at and across the Internet who are calling for the FCC to reclassify the Internet as a public utility like water — equally accessible to all.” – Keith Rouda of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee

“The only way to do that is to treat the Internet as the public utility it is.” – Civic Action Executive Director Anna Galland