Franken Sees Common Ground With Trump on Broadband

Al Franken (D-Minn.), a big backer of Hillary Clinton and critic of President-elect Donald Trump, says that broadband infrastructure buildouts may be one area where he and Trump can agree.

Progressive Franken has big differences over issues like climate change and healthcare with populist Republican Trump, but when asked by CNN's Jake Tapper where he might find agreement, Franken was quick to say "infrastructure."

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And he said that went beyond roads and bridges to broadband buildouts. "This is something I think we should be doing," he said, adding: "I think I may be more in line with the new President than my Republican colleagues in the Senate and the House."

Among Trump's campaign platform planks was an “America’s Infrastructure First” policy on prioritizing investments in telecommunications and "other pressing domestic infrastructure needs."

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Trump and Franken remain far apart on another broadband issue: Title II reclassification of Internet access. Trump has slammed it, while Franken was a big backer of the FCC decision to define ISPs as common carriers.

Sen. Bernie Sanders I-Vt.), who was beaten by Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination, also told CNN he was with Trump on rebuilding the country's infrastructure, if he wound up doing that.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.