Sanders announces $150B investment to expand broadband access

Yolanda Curtis
December 7, 2019

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On top of all this, Sanders wants to pave the way for city and state governments to create their own broadband. He also vowed to break up internet service provider and cable monopolies, prohibit service advisers from providing content and wipe out "anticompetitive" mergers.

Dubbed "High-Speed Internet For All", Sanders' plan calls for high-speed internet to be considered "a public utility that everyone deserves as a basic human right".

U.S. Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders launched a plan on Friday to provide high-speed broadband for every U.S. household at a cost of $150 billion, pledging to use antitrust powers to take on internet, telecom and cable companies. Our tax dollars built the Internet and access to it should be a public good for all, not another price gouging profit machine for Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon. Nevertheless, Sanders' plan calls for other ways to regulate the broadband sector. But to no surprise, the telecom industry has been lobbying against the creation of public ISPs. He also wants to invest in infrastructure that would ensure "broadband infrastructure is resilient to climate change".

The idea of municipal or state level broadband options has the backing of some experts.

The senator also proposes overriding laws in 19 states that hinder municipalities from building their own networks.

Sanders' full "High-Speed Internet for All" plan can be read over on his campaign site.

Sanders and his rival for the 2020 presidential nomination of the Democratic Party has been pushing to increase high-speed internet access to rural and low-income Americans, said it has become a necessity to succeed in school and business. This week, the FCC found that Verizon, T-Mobile, and US Cellular have been overstating their 4G LTE coverage in rural areas across the country.

Warren said in August she would enact an $85 billion federal grant program to bring high-speed internet to rural and Native American communities if elected president. But the agency has struggled to determine which communities need the subsidies due to the inaccurate wireless-coverage maps the major carriers have been submitting.

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