Bernie Sanders aims to break up ISP and cable monopolies

Shawn Knight

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

To get there, Sanders aims to provide $150 billion in grants to help municipalities and states build their own broadband networks. He also wants to reform the Universal Service Fund, eliminate data caps, ban throttling and force all ISPs to offer a basic service plan that provides “quality broadband speeds at an affordable price.”

Like his contemporary, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Sanders is all for breaking up big tech companies. Specifically, Sanders said the Internet and access to it should be “a public good for all, not another price gouging profit machine for Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.” If elected, he promises to break up ISP and cable monopolies using existing antitrust authority. 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.

Part of Sanders’ wide-reaching investment involves making new broadband infrastructure resilient to natural disasters, allowing first responders to more efficiently do their job and keeping communities connected as they “deal with the worst climate emergencies.”

Sanders' full “High-Speed Internet for All” plan can be read over on his campaign site.

Masthead credit: Bernie Sanders by Rich Koele. Construction site by ThomBal

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ZackL04

TS Guru
Waste of time and resources in my opinion.

Cable internet is an ok value imo no matter the provider. I think the focus should be more on the removal of data caps, that is a more glaring issue.

People have so many video streaming options these days that cable companys video monopolies dont mean much anymore.
 

RaXoR

TS Maniac
Waste of time and resources in my opinion.

Cable internet is an ok value imo no matter the provider. I think the focus should be more on the removal of data caps, that is a more glaring issue.

People have so many video streaming options these days that cable companys video monopolies dont mean much anymore.
That will become addressed once the major ISPs are addressed. Smaller ISPs will have to compete against each other and provide desirable features such as no data caps. So far where I live, Spectrum has no data cap. It already exists technically.
 
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AIC1Drew

TS Enthusiast
CableOne had data caps when I lived in Mississippi, I thought that was a little ridiculous myself. Initially was capped at 300GBs a month with their standard package. The wife was blowing through the entire thing within the first two weeks with Netflix and so we had to do some digging to take care of that. Turns out you can drop the steaming settings(as with many sites) down to medium and it doesn't pull NEARLY as much bandwidth....so those that have caps may want to consider the stream settings and limit yourself on quality and still be able to watch.

What I don't understand is this was not in some rural area. We were in Biloxi.
 

Hexic

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
I love seeing Bernie’s Disney-esque ‘solutions’ when he makes promises like these. Because it’s just that easy if you insert enough buzzwords into your press release, it’s bound to work in reality!

There are natural disaster plans (and builds) in place currently - he’s just making up words there along with that the oh-so-popular “let’s allow first responders to do their jobs better”. Municipalities typically do NOT have the resources, funds, or experience to run their own internet services and maintain a good level of QoS and customer service. That’s a pipe dream.

Most of this guy’s statements sound like they’ve been thought up by some stoned, socialist Huff Post editor.
 
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psycros

TS Evangelist
So broadband is a human right now? Well, at least now we know how Bernie plans on shaking down the cable business: by promising them no forced breakups in exchange for cheap, taxpayer-funded broadband for low income households. Yeah, we all know how this song goes by now. I can already hear the campaign promises.
 

BadThad

TS Maniac
Crazy Bernie! "Comrades, the government must take control of everything for your own good because I know better."

The crazy left rallying against big companies that provide thousands of Americans jobs. Of course, big government works so well, a bunch of bureaucrats and massive regulations are really efficient. Look at Social Security, Medicare and the VA! Just another grab at freedom in America by a complete moroon politician.
 
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Ravalo

TS Addict
Wait, US has monopolies?

Mexico only has like 3-4 internet/cable services and only 2 of them are used by the majority of people (infinitum and megacable)
 

ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
"high-speed Internet is a basic human right"

Uh, no. You don't need internet to survive. You are not guaranteed extras in life.

"Sanders aims to provide $150 billion in grants to help municipalities and states build their own broadband networks"

Typical Burns. Make it "affordable" by raising taxes... Just like how "Affordable Health Care" [doesn't] work. Just another way to make the government bigger and take money out of our pockets. I hope I am not the only one seeing through the smoke and mirrors. I'm sure we can also trust the government with our data. Just like Chinese citizens do with their government. /s
 

Evernessince

地獄らしい人間動物園
CableOne had data caps when I lived in Mississippi, I thought that was a little ridiculous myself. Initially was capped at 300GBs a month with their standard package. The wife was blowing through the entire thing within the first two weeks with Netflix and so we had to do some digging to take care of that. Turns out you can drop the steaming settings(as with many sites) down to medium and it doesn't pull NEARLY as much bandwidth....so those that have caps may want to consider the stream settings and limit yourself on quality and still be able to watch.

What I don't understand is this was not in some rural area. We were in Biloxi.
Doesn't make any sense in the first place, data isn't a limited resource and your ISP is not the one generating that data to begin with. The ISP merely provides the connection.

Wait, US has monopolies?

Mexico only has like 3-4 internet/cable services and only 2 of them are used by the majority of people (infinitum and megacable)
So exactly like America? Comcast and Spectrum own a vast majority of the markets with Verizon and at&t serving a much small number.

Crazy Bernie! "Comrades, the government must take control of everything for your own good because I know better."

The crazy left rallying against big companies that provide thousands of Americans jobs. Of course, big government works so well, a bunch of bureaucrats and massive regulations are really efficient. Look at Social Security, Medicare and the VA! Just another grab at freedom in America by a complete moroon politician.
Wait, you mean the programs republicans gutted to look bad are looking bad? Oh my god, what a surprise. What's next, you are going to tell me that republicans gutted the IRS's budget to stop them from litigating against big corporations who are also coincidentally republican donors? Oh wait, that's already happened. Now look at us, we PAY Amazon in their federal tax return. If the richest man in the world receiving a large tax refund from the government isn't worrying, I don't know what is. We've got that reverse robin hood thing nailed down.

America is the GREATEST country on earth! You're just a troll!
No, it's comments like this that make it's current administration one of the most delusional.

So broadband is a human right now? Well, at least now we know how Bernie plans on shaking down the cable business: by promising them no forced breakups in exchange for cheap, taxpayer-funded broadband for low income households. Yeah, we all know how this song goes by now. I can already hear the campaign promises.
It should be noted that you can't get a job (for the most part) without internet nowadays. Many companies have an online application. By having people without access to essential services they need in order to live (and getting a job means being able to do just that) you are essentially removing any possibility of them supporting themselves. This is one of the reasons the digital divide years back was such a concern.
 
Just like how "Affordable Health Care" [doesn't] work.
The ACA doesn't work because Republicans gutted every inch of it, despite the fact it was literally based on Romney's plan from his time as Governor of Massachusetts and received the stamp of approval from friggin' CATO, simply to spite Barack Obama. Republicans did the legal equivalent to shooting holes in the their roof and then complaining about the water inside during a rain.

Finally, I love all these people coming to the defense of companies like Comcast, literally a top five contender for most hated corporation in America, like somehow the sheer fact it's "not government" makes it better despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
 

ShagnWagn

TS Evangelist
The ACA doesn't work because Republicans gutted every inch of it, despite the fact it was literally based on Romney's plan from his time as Governor of Massachusetts and received the stamp of approval from friggin' CATO, simply to spite Barack Obama. Republicans did the legal equivalent to shooting holes in the their roof and then complaining about the water inside during a rain.

Finally, I love all these people coming to the defense of companies like Comcast, literally a top five contender for most hated corporation in America, like somehow the sheer fact it's "not government" makes it better despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
You mean when the dems said to vote yes on AHC before they would even tell us what's in it? You mean that after the entire country was screaming how terrible it is that the reps had to step in? If you don't know of anyone yelling about it, you must live out of the country. I have yet to meet a single person that is for it. My healthcare has skyrocketed since good 'ol obummer stamped it in. Why would someone put their name on a piece of garbage? lol

Who are "all these people" defending monopolies? Nobody said monopolies are "better" than government other than they are more efficient and arguably somewhat more about privacy.
 
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Slappy McPhee

TS Addict
USA is such a sh**te hole, in UK even the cheapest broadband doesn't have caps and fast broadband is rather cheap

I could easily come up with plenty of reasons to flip your analysis on its ugly head having many friends in the UK and hearing about the BS that takes place there financially. Go back under your bridge and continue with picking at your toenails please.

Back to the article I already pay enough for taxes. Bernie will cause us to drown in taxes with his socialist reforms if elected. I, unlike celebrities that say it, will leave the country if his crap comes to fruition.
 
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Adi6293

TS Guru
I could easily come up with plenty of reasons to flip your analysis on its ugly head having many friends in the UK and hearing about the BS that takes place there financially. Go back under your bridge and continue with picking at your toenails please.

Back to the article I already pay enough for taxes. Bernie will cause us to drown in taxes with his socialist reforms if elected. I, unlike celebrities that say it, will leave the country if his crap comes to fruition.
You can say what ever you want but UK is a better country to live in ( for now) that USA Brexit might change that but we just have to wait and see, and just FYI I'm not even British, I'm Polish living in Scotland since 2006 :)
 
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TheBigT42

TS Guru
HA HA Bernie wanting to implement a more capitalistic Home Internet Model.

Why wait?? Propose a Bill that does it now!!! He has had plenty of time in congress to address the issue of Government Sanctioned Cable Monopolies. He probably has more of a chance of getting it done in Congress anyway.

 

Slappy McPhee

TS Addict
You can say what ever you want but UK is a better country to live in ( for now) that USA Brexit might change that but we just have to wait and see, and just FYI I'm not even British, I'm Polish living in Scotland since 2006 :)
I have lived in multiple countries over the years and for the most part can easily say that living in the United States for the most part is preferable over the others I have lived in. You have from what it sounds like only lived in the EU therefore your viewpoint is like a horse with blinders on. I have been or lived on almost all of the continents so for now I'll consider my opinion at least based on a much less biased approach than yours.
 
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captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
Bernie Sanders is a complete dipsh!t, whom I wouldn't vote for on a dare, no matter how expansive his imaginary utopia becomes.

What's next, Christopher Lloyd for president? 'Cause Bernie has his looks and and disheveled self presentation to pull off, "Back to the Future V", (or whatever the hell number that serial is on.

I know that supposedly, "looks don't matter", but still you need someone more stately than Bernie to run this country. And not this orange faced clown who's running it now.

Ronald Reagan actually pulled off a Republican presidency with aplomb. Sure he was an actor, but he did adhere to the script that his obviously competent cabinet handed him.
 

wiyosaya

TS Evangelist
That will become addressed once the major ISPs are addressed. Smaller ISPs will have to compete against each other and provide desirable features such as no data caps. So far where I live, Spectrum has no data cap. It already exists technically.
Where I live, Specturd could give a :poop: about their customers, though. They also have no data caps here, and have 100 M-bit service available. However, that is for new subscribers only. I played hardball with them, and dropped them after getting po'd at their customer service one more time. I went to an MVNO for a while, then switched back when I found out about their 100 M-bit service for 1-year at $44.95/mo. My neighbor, though, still has their 10 M-bit service and has had it for months with no signs of Specturd upgrading his speed. I would not be surprised if Specturd is doing something similar with network speed in your area.

Fortunately, for us, there's a local company installing fiber. It is supposed to be installed by February of 2020. When its installed, I drop Specturd, and flush them down the toilet - permanetly. Many of my neighbors on the street will also be dropping Specturd. The fiber service starts at $50/mo for 500 M-bit down and 50 M-bit up - no data caps. Specturd is probably laughing at the local company, but sooner or later, my bet is Specturd will be begging for customers to come back to them. I will squarely raise my middle finger at them if they do.
 
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