Democratic Hopeful Warren Outlines $85 Billion Rural Broadband Plan

Lucas Jackson/File Photo/Reuters

Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren outlined on Wednesday her plan to bring high-speed internet to rural and Native American communities through an $85 billion federal grant program.

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

The Warren initiative would pay for 90 percent of broadband construction costs for rural and low-income areas, the Massachusetts senator said in a statement. $5 billion of the grants would be reserved to pay 100 percent of the costs for tribal nations, she said.

Warren is one of about two dozen Democrats competing for their party’s nomination to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election. She has sought to distinguish herself in the field by offering extensive policy proposals.

Electricity and telephone cooperatives, non-profit organizations, tribes and local governments would be eligible for the program.

Broadband access can boost local economies by enabling virtual access to healthcare providers, increasing educational opportunities and deepening market access for farmers.

The program would stipulate that grant recipients offer at least one plan with 100 Mbps speeds and a plan with low-rate or prepaid options for low-income customers.

The grant program would be managed by a new “Office of Broadband Access” in the Department of Economic Development, Warren said.

(Reporting by Bryan Pietsch)

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General Confusion
Member

Patti is confused about how national budgets work.

If King Donald The Loser hadn’t fought for a $2 trillion tax break for himself and his rich buddies, our budget would be in better shape.

Patti Harrison
Member

Spending the people’s money,, money that we don’t have!!!!

Carl Wisnesky Sr.
Member

We here in rural America don’t need broadband access as in almost all rural areas, broadband is available through cable TV or phone company. What we really do need is cell phone service. Article says 30% of rural areas do not have access to broadband (with no proof how they got that number), BUT 100% of the people in many rural areas do not have sell phone access or only have 1/2 to 1 bar causing any calls that get through to repeatedly drop. Let’s get AT&T or Verizon to put up towers in rural areas so that when asked… Read more »

william jackson
Member

another D-rat freebie program
another in a long line of BS D-Rat freebie programs
never designed for implementation
only designed to get an ignorant fool—-with their hand out—-looking for a freebie——— vote
C’mon people—-get it together—honest to God—-you are smarter than that
ya been voting for these freebie promising scoundrels for 40 years—you got nothing–not a dam thing
stop swallowing the bait on the hook
don’t keep being a sucker
stop voting for D-rats
they throw the bait
you swallow the hook
D-rats reel you in
you wallow on the bank wondering where the free stuff went
stop being the fool

Allen Zabel
Member

Wait a minute.
My cable bill and my cell phone bill, already carry a government fee, which is doing just that.
Just more money, for a gov’ment slush fund.

Cherl
Member

Federal grants. Hmmm So from where does that money come? Is Squaw Warren that obtuse? She still thinks they are her people. Many live in poor conditions. Don’t think that broadband is on their want list.

Charles
Member

She wants to give away $85 billion because we have so much extra cash laying around. Why don’t the tribes spend some of that casino money on broadband communications for their tribes. Oh, because they’re too busy riding around in their limos and building huge mansions. I live on a reservation. Broadband is available, but as usual, they want it for free and that is what this plan is really all about – free handout for those that aren’t willing to work and pay for it themselves. More Democrat handouts to buy votes. Does anything ever change?

Tom Bodine
Member

Squaw try to appease tribe she falsely claim to be part of, too much wampum for nothing Lizzy.

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