Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders recently announced a $150 billion, four-point plan that would fundamentally transform how the internet works in the United States.
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders just unveiled a sweeping $150 billion proposal that would fundamentally reshape how the internet works in the United States.
The plan, dubbed “High-Speed Internet for All,” would effectively turn the internet into a public utility along the lines of water and power. “High-speed internet service must be treated as the new electricity,” the proposal says , “a public utility that everyone deserves as a basic human right.”
To that end, the $150 billion would go to creating “publicly owned and democratically controlled, co-operative, or open access broadband networks.”
The core of Sanders’ high-speed plan is to provide internet for everyone in an affordable way.
Its primary method for doing that: FCC regulation.
“The FCC will review prices and regulate rates where necessary, ensuring areas without competition aren’t able to run up prices,” the plan says. “We will also require providers to offer a basic plan for a regulated rate to all customers, ensuring everyone will be able to affordably connect to the internet.”
The “providers” in question are massive media conglomerates like Verizon, Comcast, and Charter. “Bernie will regulate these providers like a utility,” it says.
The proposal includes further subsidies for people who qualify for government assistance programs like SNAP, Medicaid, and TANF, and it proposes free broadband in all public housing.