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Sanders Plan: $150B Broadband Access   12/06 06:27

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is 
promising to invest $150 billion to bring high-speed internet to "every 
household in America" while breaking up and better regulating monopolies he 
says currently limit access to drive up their profits.

   The Vermont senator on Friday unveiled a plan providing that funding in 
infrastructure grants and technical assistance to states and municipalities 
through Green New Deal climate-change fighting initiatives --- allowing them to 
build what he called "publicly owned and democratically controlled, 
co-operative or open access broadband networks."

   Sanders also wants to set aside $7.5 billion to increase high-speed 
broadband in Native American communities nationwide and increase funding for 
the Federal Communications Commission's Office of Native Affairs and Policy.

   Citing FCC data, Sanders said that in rural areas, about 30% of Americans 
lack access to broadband internet access.

   The senator also says that, as president, he'd require all internet service 
providers to offer a "Basic Internet Plan" providing "quality broadband speeds 
at an affordable price." He also vowed to break up internet service provider 
and cable monopolies, prohibit service advisers from providing content and wipe 
out "anticompetitive" mergers.

   "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 said in a statement.

   He isn't the only Democratic presidential hopeful promising to improve 
internet access in rural areas and other under-served communities. 
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren wants to create a "public option for 
broadband" managed by a new Office of Broadband Access using an $85 billion 
federal grant. Former Vice President Joe Biden has released a plan to 
revitalize rural America that includes a $20 billion investment in rural 
broadband infrastructure.


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