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Political Editors / Dec. 13, 2019

Bernie Sanders Wants to Nationalize the Internet

He claims more government control is the only "solution" to the "problem."

It should come as no surprise that Bernie Sanders wants the government to control … well, just about everything — including the Internet. Yes, the socialist senator from Vermont has a plan dubiously entitled “High-Speed Internet for All.” Too many Americans lack access to high-speed Internet, Sanders says, which is unacceptable for something he considers “a basic human right.” (“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Netflix”?) Sanders’s plan would solve this “crisis” by classifying the Internet as a public utility, effectively giving Washington total control of a “publicly owned and democratically controlled, co-operative, or open access broadband network.”

So, how bad is this high-speed Internet crisis? Well, currently only 94% of people living in the U.S. have access to broadband. That might explain why the Federal Communications Commission doesn’t see it as a crisis at all. Last year, the FCC concluded that “broadband services are now being deployed to all Americans on a reasonable and timely basis.” Furthermore, rapid expanse of broadband services has come about almost entirely via private enterprise. Got that, Bernie?

In fact, far from quickly delivering broadband access to that remaining 6%, nationalizing the Internet would only serve to slow it down. As the Washington Examiner notes, “The unnecessary Obama-era internet regulation misleadingly dubbed ‘net neutrality’ led to a massive decline in private sector broadband investment during the brief period while it was in place. According to the FCC, ‘In the following two years, after [net neutrality] was adopted, new developments dropped 55 percent.’ But after its repeal, investment has ticked back up by a whopping $1.5 billion.”

Leave it to socialists like Sanders to conjure up crises for which Big Government is the only solution.

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