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The plan, called "High-Speed Internet for All," which comes at a $150 million price tag, aims to simultaneously break up internet and telecom giants while delivering broadband service to every American.
"When Bernie is president, every American household will have affordable, high-speed internet by the end of his first term. This investment will provide every community the internet they need for their homes, educational systems, small businesses, health clinics, and more," the proposal states.
The plan compares the necessity of internet access to electricity.
"High-speed internet service must be treated as the new electricity — a public utility that everyone deserves as a basic human right. And getting online at home, at school, or at work shouldn’t involve long waits, frustrating phone calls, and complex contracts and fees meant to trap and trick consumers. It should just work."
"Verizon made more than $45 billion in profits over the last two years, and last year their CEO took home more than $22 million in compensation. Comcast made more than $34 billion over the last two years and paid their CEO more than $35 million in 2018. AT&T took $3 billion from Trump’s tax cut and cut 23,000 jobs while their CEO pocketed $29 million last year," the plan says.
"With no incentive to innovate or invest, these conglomerates charge sky-high internet prices to reap profits from consumers, and they collect government subsidies to provide service to rural households while still leaving millions of Americans unconnected," it continues.
Additionally, Sanders said his plan will assure climate-resilient 5G in the era of the Green New Deal, "a 10-year, nationwide mobilization centered around justice and equity during which climate change will be factored into virtually every area of policy."
"With our $150 billion investment in resilient, affordable, publicly owned broadband infrastructure, we will ensure that communities stay connected during natural disasters. This communications infrastructure will ensure first responders and communities are ready to deal with the worst climate emergencies," the plan reads.
Sanders' proposal comes after Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai announced a new $9 billion 5G fund to bring internet service to rural America.
"5G has the potential to bring ... wireless networks that are more responsive, more secure, and up to 100 times faster than today’s 4G LTE networks," Pai said in a statement. “We want to make sure that rural Americans enjoy these benefits, just as residents of large urban areas will. In order to do that, the Universal Service Fund must be forward-looking and support the networks of tomorrow."