The big picture: Bridging the so-called digital divide is a hot issue in America right now and one that several politicians are actively tackling in their campaigns. Senator Bernie Sanders believes that access to high-speed Internet is a basic human right and if elected president, he vows that every household in the US will have access to affordable broadband by the end of his first term.
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.