Published: Sat, December 07, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Bernie Sanders aims to break up ISP and cable monopolies

Bernie Sanders aims to break up ISP and cable monopolies

In another jab at the FCC, Sanders would also seek to conduct a "national broadband census" that creates a more comprehensive and accurate assessment of broadband access maps, speeds and prices.

"High-speed Internet service must be treated as the new electricity - a public utility that everyone deserves as a basic human right", the plan states.

His presidential campaign just released a $150 billion plan to extend high-speed internet to underserved areas and treat broadband like a public utility.

That would also include technical help for municipalities and individual states to erect "publicly owned and democratically controlled, co-operative, or open access broadband networks".

"Their greed must end", Sanders said in the plan, which points to the billions of dollars Verizon, Comcast, and AT&T have been raking in. Instead, the company fired people. He firmly believes that municipalities are capable of running their own Internet services and can do so at a fraction of the price of established companies.

A recent episode of Hasan Minhaj's Netflix series, Patriot Act, focused on this very issue.

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

But Sanders' plan appears to be the most detailed and comprehensive one from any candidate so far, surpassing even Warren's $85 billion proposal. Nevertheless, Sanders' plan calls for other ways to regulate the broadband sector.

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. Sanders wants to restore net neutrality and use existing antitrust rules to unwind telecoms and decouple service + content providers.

Sanders also wants to ban several controversial practices by carriers, including their use of data caps.

As for the cable industry, they are keeping their reactions and opinions about this close to the vest at the moment - cable operators and cable industry organizations contacted Friday afternoon either declined comment or said they still needed more time to review Sanders's plan before providing comment.

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