Tags: 2020 Elections | Net Neutrality | Election 2020 | Sanders | broadband | rural

Sanders Touts $150B Plan to Expand Broadband Access

Bernie Sanders after a campaign stop in Iowa on Thursday
Sen. Bernie Sanders leaves a campaign appearance in Story City, Iowa, earlier this week. He has rolled out an ambitious broadband expansion plan as part of his campaign for the presidency. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Friday, 06 December 2019 10:44 AM

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is promising to invest $150 billion to bring high-speed internet to “every household in America” while breaking up and better regulating monopolies he says are limiting access to drive up their profits.

The Vermont senator, who's been campaigning in Iowa this week, on Friday unveiled a plan providing that funding in infrastructure grants and technical assistance to states and municipalities through Green New Deal climate-change fighting initiatives — allowing them to build what he called “publicly owned and democratically controlled, co-operative or open access broadband networks.”

Sanders also wants to set aside $7.5 billion to increase high-speed broadband in Native American communities nationwide and increase funding for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Office of Native Affairs and Policy.

Citing FCC data, Sanders said that in rural areas, about 30% of Americans lack access to broadband internet access.

The senator also says that, as president, he’d require all internet service providers to offer a “Basic Internet Plan” providing “quality broadband speeds at an affordable price.” He also vowed to break up internet service provider and cable monopolies, prohibit service advisers from providing content and wipe out “anticompetitive” mergers.

“It is outrageous that across the country millions of Americans and so many of our communities do not have access to affordable high-speed internet," Sanders said in a statement.

He isn’t the only Democratic presidential hopeful promising to improve internet access in rural areas and other underserved communities. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to create a “public option for broadband” managed by a new Office of Broadband Access using an $85 billion federal grant.

For his part, Former Vice President Joe Biden has released a plan to revitalize rural America that includes a $20 billion investment in rural broadband infrastructure.

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Senator Sanders also wants to break up broadband monopolies and extend broadband service to rural and Native American communities across the nation that have been underserved.
Election 2020, Sanders, broadband, rural
Friday, 06 December 2019 10:44 AM
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