The Federal Communications Commission will announce on Thursday that it will reassert regulation of broadband and continue an open Internet policy, but also refrain from imposing strict regulatory burdens on broadband providers like Verizon, AT&T and Comcast.

A senior FCC official said on Wednesday that FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has decided to stick with preserving a free and open Internet under a middle-of-the-road approach.

He is seeking to walk a line between moving forward with a bold broadband policy and averting a heavy regulatory hand that could spark legal action by companies like Verizon and AT&T.

The FCC's announcement is expected to focus on maintaining the status quo for the lightly regulated broadband business that existed prior to a court ruling in April, the FCC official said. The ruling threw into doubt the government's ability to move forward with an ambitious broadband plan.

The FCC's decision would reclassify the regulatory framework for broadband services under an existing set of rules governing telephone services. However, the FCC will not impose the strict regulatory regime associated with telephone services, the official said.

(Reporting by John Poirier; editing by Carol Bishopric)