On Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) introduced a brand new plan aimed toward increasing broadband web entry throughout the nation and dismantling what he known as “web and cable monopolies.”
In his sweeping “High-Speed Internet for All” proposal, Sanders requires broadband to be thought of a public utility, very similar to electrical energy, and calls entry “a fundamental human proper.” The plan would offer $150 billion in grants and technical help to states and communities for the aim of constructing out their very own “democratically managed, co-operative, or open entry broadband networks.”
As a part of the brand new plan, Sanders defines “broadband” as 100 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up, which is considerably larger than the Federal Communications Fee normal of 25 Mbps down and three Mbps up. If elected president, Sanders stated he would additionally work to revive web neutrality and ban web and cable firms from instituting knowledge caps and throttling client entry to the web.
Sanders’ plan additionally outlines a broader antitrust effort in opposition to web and cable firms. If elected, he would use current antitrust regulation to “bar service suppliers from additionally offering content material and unwind anticompetitive vertical conglomerates.” This coverage might doubtlessly affect each main US service, significantly Comcast’s possession of NBCUniversal, AT&T’s possession of WarnerMedia, and Verizon’s possession of AOL.
“We are going to break these monopolies up and intently regulate them to make sure they’re offering customers with acceptable service, and eradicate hidden charges, shock payments, and different consumer-gouging practices,” Sanders stated.
Sanders is simply the most recent 2020 Democratic main contender to place out a plan to increase broadband entry. In August, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) proposed an $85 million grant program to extend web entry for rural communities and Sound Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg put out his personal $80 billion plan. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) trillion-dollar infrastructure proposal additionally features a pledge to make web service common.
“Entry to the web is a necessity in immediately’s financial system, and it must be obtainable for all,” Sanders stated.