NRB Supports Congressional Oversight in Broadband Regulation

Publish date:
Updated on

Religious broadcasters apparently have faith in Congress.

As the FCC comments on Title II regulation of broadband piled up ahead of its deadline Thursday, the National Religious Broadcasters weighed in in support of Congress stepping in to clarify the FCC's broadband authority.

"The FCC should await statutory authority from Congress before seeking to exert new and broad regulatory powers over the Internet," the association said.

While a federal appeals court said the FCC had failed to adequately defend its authority to regulate broadband under its Title I information service definition it applies to Internet access, it did not say that was impossible. NRB said that if the FCC wants to keep the clarification in-house, it should stick with Title I.

NRB argued that it is possible to regulate the net under that information services definition, and that the FCC still has "at least in the abstract, an ancillary jurisdictional basis to provide a very narrow range of regulatory measures regarding the Internet," under its current Title I definition.

Suggesting Title II is inappropriate and an overreach, NRB said Title I should be sufficient to give the FCC the "narrow but important authority to insure that Internet 'gatekeepers' do not block consumer Web communications because of objections over the religious content of those communications. If the Commission desires more jurisdictional authority over the Internet than this, then it must seek it expressly from Congress."