Federal regulators are giving a small bump to companies like Aereo and Google Fiber ahead of the holidays.

The Federal Communications Commission is suggesting that new online video providers be treated just like the country's traditional cable and satellite TV companies. With a proposed tweak to the nation's TV rules, that means companies offering live television over the Internet — such as the now-shuttered Aereo — would be given the same privileges (and requirements) that apply to companies such as Comcast or Time Warner Cable.

In theory, this means online video providers would be able to take advantage of certain protections when negotiating with programmers for the right to broadcast their content. Programmers, meanwhile, could begin charging these distributors money. Notably, though, the FCC's rules would only apply to firms that offer "stream[s] of prescheduled video programming." So services like YouTube and Hulu would not be covered, because they offer playback on demand.

CBS's new streaming app, All Access, wouldn't be covered, either, under the FCC's proposed rule change. The theory is that CBS would only be streaming content that it owned on the app and wouldn't be making "multiple" channels available.

It sounds complicated — and it is — but the FCC believes that streamlining these rules would help newer, smaller video providers grow as more people start watching TV over the Internet, or "over the top."

How does this help Google Fiber? Federal regulators argue that by making it easier for companies like Aereo to thrive, more Americans will demand better, faster Internet. And that, the FCC says, could spur more investment by new broadband providers seeking to challenge the dominance of more traditional ISPs.