Published: Sat, December 07, 2019
Tech | By

Bernie Sanders promises high-speed internet for all

Bernie Sanders promises high-speed internet for all

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With municipality-run services, the city either partners with a provider like Google Fiber to distribute internet access through a city-owned system or the city owns its own network outright.

The plan Sanders has drawn up involves antitrust authorities taking action to dismantle the "internet service provider and cable monopolies" that are now in play in the United States and would see the reinstatement of the net neutrality regulation that was repealed in June a year ago.

The plan also would require the service provider to offer a "basic" broadband plans at "an affordable price".

Sanders said the proposal would stop the internet from operating as a "price-gouging profit machine" for service providers.

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 isn't the first 2020 Democrat to unveil a broadband plan. But to no surprise, the telecom industry has been lobbying against the creation of public ISPs.


Sanders also wants to raise FCC's definition of broadband, which is now 25Mbit/s down and 3Mbit/s - he wants it to be 100Mbit/s down and 10Mbit/s up.

The idea of municipal or state level broadband options has the backing of some experts. In addition, he plans on preempting state laws that try to limit publicly owned broadband projects.

It's no secret that the state of wireless internet access in the U.S. is bad. 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.

"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, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, said in a statement.

Much of Sanders's ire is directed at incumbent telcos and cable operators, holding that monopolistic positions in the market result in high prices that put broadband out of reach for some in rural and urban areas.

Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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