Bernie Sanders, a longtime proponent of net neutrality, said Wednesday that he’s suspended his campaign to become the Democrats’ nominee to run against President Donald Trump in the November election.
The Vermont senator made the announcement during a call with staff, his campaign said Wednesday, a day after Wisconsin held its primary. Though Sanders had strong showings at the start of the primary season, former Vice President Joe Biden staged a later surge and has gained momentum. As the field of candidates thinned, it became clear that moderate and many undecided voters were consolidating around Biden, who now leads in the number of pledged delegates for the nomination.
Sanders, whose signature issue was health care, is a proponent of net neutrality, the principle that all traffic on the internet should be treated equally. He called the 2017 repeal of the FCC’s Obama-era net neutrality rules “an egregious attack on our democracy.” He advocates reinstating those regulations, including classifying broadband providers as common carriers under Title II of the Communications Act.
The FCC, under Chairman Ajit Pai, repealed net neutrality regulations, eliminating rules that prevented broadband providers from blocking or slowing access to websites or charging companies extra to deliver content faster. After a federal court upheld the repeal last year, Trump called the decision a “great win.”
Sanders also joined Sen. Elizabeth Warren, another Democratic presidential hopeful, in criticizing big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon for having too much power. He said he would “absolutely” look into breaking them up.
Sanders has also proposed High-Speed Internet for All, which would include $150 billion in infrastructure grants and which would require ISPs to provide a low-cost basic plan.