“Mayor Pete” Echoes Warren With $80B Rural Broadband Proposal

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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg this week rolled out an economic policy plan for rural areas that includes a multibillion-dollar broadband initiative and a pledge to fight for public internet options. The South Bend, Indiana, mayor promised to expand internet access to unserved and underserved communities across the country within his first term.

Buttigieg’s $80 billion “Internet For Allinitiative, calls for competition among broadband providers, especially in areas where there is little to no competition now, reports The Verge

Buttigieg says his administration would seek to create a public option for broadband, something he hopes would patch service gaps and drive down prices across the country. “Where companies have not provided coverage or it is unaffordable,” he writes in the policy paper, his Administration, “will fight to create a public option to compete with these companies and make access affordable for communities being left behind.”

Buttigieg isn’t the only Democratic candidate calling for more broadband in rural areas. Last week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced her big broadband plan that would include an $85 billion grant program for nonprofits and local governments to build their own networks. Warren and Buttigieg are the only candidates calling for a public option for broadband. 

Other presidential candidates, too, have released broadband rollout plans. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), put out her proposal earlier this year as part of a trillion-dollar infrastructure plan, which would promise universal coverage by 2022. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), have pledged to foster greater access to the internet if they’re elected president, Inside Towers reported.

August 15, 2019   

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