Telecom companies such as Verizon (NYSE:VZ), AT&T (NYSE:T), and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) have a lot on the line on February 26th. They're not the only ones.

Those not following the industry closely aren't familiar with exactly what will be decided on that date, but they are surely familiar with the term net neutrality. The open Internet is why February 26th is such an important date since it is when FCC commissioners will be making final votes on potential net neutrality rules.

Investors should be aware as there are implications for many involved parties. Open Internet supporters argue innovation will flourish with equal access while ISP's counter that Title II like utility regulation on the Internet degrades profits and reduces network infrastructure investments.

I had the opportunity to visit International CES 2015 and hear first hand from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler why the 26th is a landmark date. In the video below, Mr. Wheeler talks about the open Internet during a panel discussion with Gary Shapiro, CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association.

A full video of the interview can be found here.

Nathan Hamilton has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Verizon Communications. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.