|For Immediate Release
February 24, 2015
Nashville, TN – The National Religious Broadcasters Board of Directors, a body of approximately a hundred key leaders among Christian communicators, yesterday unanimously approved a Resolution opposed to a power grab of the Internet by the Federal Communications Commission. The NRB Board was particularly concerned that free speech values be upheld online.
Following the approval of this Resolution, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, stated, “The President and the FCC Chairman are wrong to insist that the Commission unilaterally assume heavy-handed Title II authority over the Internet. If such new broad power is truly needed, I urge the Executive Branch to ask Congress for it. That is how our Republic works.”
NRB Chairman of the Board Bill Blount added, “Free speech and free enterprise are fundamental values of the Internet. Public and private stakeholders should honor a truly open Internet.”
Noting the “Open Internet” proceeding, which may be voted on by the FCC this week, the NRB Board declared:
NRB urges the FCC to reject the use of Title II or any other heavy-handed regulatory approach to the Internet. NRB further urges the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches of the United States to uphold a position of a “light touch” toward the Internet and to continue to work to ensure principles of freedom, and particularly freedom of speech, on the Internet globally.
The NRB Board also highlighted that the plan reportedly being considered by the FCC 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.”
In its public filing last summer with the FCC on this net neutrality proceeding, NRB stated (emphasis added):
We believe that the Commission has sufficient, though narrow, authority under section 706, as well as ancillary jurisdiction under Title I of the Communications Act of 1934, to provide an adequate basis for limited, restrained jurisdiction; but asserting jurisdiction under Title II with its heavy hand of telecommunications regulations is ill-advised….Moreover, we believe that this narrow range of FCC authority should be fixed on two objectives: (1) fostering competitive, free enterprise innovation regarding Internet services, applications, and devices, and (2) promoting the values of free speech, free exercise of religion, and a free press for citizen user-generated content that is transmitted over the Internet.
The NRB Board concluded yesterday’s Resolution by urging members of its association, “as well as other freedom-loving Americans, to contact the White House, the FCC, and Congress to advocate for First Amendment principles to be honored on the Internet, and to urge that this attempt to apply Title II be rejected.”
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
About the NRB Convention
The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. NRB 2015 will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, February 23-26, 2015. For more information, go to www.nrbconvention.org.
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