U.S. Democratic Contender Sanders Proposes $150 Billion for ‘High-Speed Internet for All’

FILE PHOTO: Democratic 2020 U.S. presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) arrives to a "Bernie's Back" rally at Queensbridge Park in the Queens Borough of New York City, U.S., October 19, 2019. REUTERS/Yana Paskova

 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.

Sanders, a leading candidate in the crowded field seeking the Democratic nomination to take on Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election, said the funding would go toward infrastructure grants and technical assistance to local governments to build out publicly owned networks.

“Access to the internet is a necessity in today’s economy, and it should be available for all,” Sanders said in a statement, adding he would use antitrust powers and strengthen regulators to “take on the greedy internet, telecom, and cable monopolies and put an end to their absurd price gauging.”

He likened the “high-speed internet for all” policy, part of his Green New Deal investment plan to transition the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels, to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1930s rural electrification push during the Great Depression.

In the United States, 30% of the rural population and 35% of people on tribal lands lack access to broadband, compared with 2 percent in urban areas, according to a 2018 Federal Communications Commission report.

Sanders, a U.S. senator from Vermont, is polling second or third in most national opinion polls on the Democratic race, behind former Vice President Joe Biden and alongside fellow progressive Elizabeth Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts.

Most of the front-runners have pledged to expand broadband access in rural areas, but Sanders and Warren have proposed the most ambitious and expensive plans.

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.

Sanders’ plan includes $7.5 billion to extend broadband to Native American communities.

(Reporting by Simon Lewis; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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TOM
Member

Isn’t Elon Musk providing the infrastructure for “broadband to all”??? He just launched a bunch more Starlink satellites the other day.

Tom Bodine
Member

To be called “The Communist Indoctrination and Information Network” where you can get hourly reports on the status of all your local and national Bolsheviks.

Screwtape
Member

Considering the VAST under-service of reservations and Native-American dominated rural areas, why isn’t Lyin’ Lizzie all over this? Oh right.

She’s probably busy having a beer while cooking her native cuisine of crab-meat omelets.

Ed
Member

@cmac – you must not know much about rural broadband internet options. It would be hard to make anything more expensive than most of the current solutions.

Screwtape
Member

Going on Medicare Bernie? Selling at least two of your three houses to offset income inequality? Donating your book profits? You talk a lot of shit if you fail to do these things. But that’s Socialism, i.e. selfishness.

As someone who got a first paycheck at 40 and has since lived in politics Bernie knows NOTHING about telecommunications, service delivery, or infrastructure.

Or we can say that he simply knows nothing about how things work in the real world. Especially that money/capitalism thing, except to his benefit.

william jackson
Member

Bernie Panders—-more free Pelosi—–does this Schiff ever end. High Speed Internet for all—-including those that do not own computers, tablets or iphones—–good one Burn—-do-nothing pathetic D-RAT

Thomas Cole
Member

Apparently Senator Sanders has never taken 5 minutes to look into this issue. Several companies are already working on this problem and they have all came to the same issue, FCC regulations. Elon Musk says that low orbit satellite will be able to deliver super high speed internet and could be accomplished in a matter of just a few years if regulations allowed. Already we have Hughesnet that can supply rural America. He has not heard of 5G cellular that promises speeds 5 times faster than can be delivered by cable and is available today in parts of the country.… Read more »

Ed
Member

This is one of the things that could get my attention. I would love to have cheap, fast broadband at my rural home. The only reason I don’t have it is because some company decided that it’s not worth it to wire me up. What makes it worse is there is a 100Gbps fiber cable running along a line that crosses my front yard. My neighbors and I have asked if we could pay for the infrastructure ourselves, but the provider refuses. It’s their line, and their decision, but it leaves me with my only options being very overpriced and… Read more »

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