In a press release following a vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to impose new regulations on the Internet, National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) President Jerry A. Johnson said, “I am saddened that the FCC voted on partisan lines to dramatically expand federal power over the Internet.
“Bigger government is not fertile ground for the flourishing of free speech and innovation,” said Johnson. “This is a power grab, and NRB opposes it.”
On Thursday, the FCC voted 3–2 to reclassify broadband Internet access as a telecommunications service under Title II of the Communications Act, with the purported intent of protecting open Internet, according to an FCC press release.
During the group’s annual convention last week in Nashville, the NRB Board of Directors unanimously approved a Resolution opposed to such a move by the Commission. The NRB — a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers — was particularly concerned that free speech values be upheld online.
The NRB Board also highlighted that such action may “send a poor signal to nations that have or are considering more state governance of the Internet,” and may encourage “repressive regimes that would like an international body like the International Telecommunications Union of the United Nations to have increased authority over the Internet.”