Verizon slowed internet speed for first responders to fire
27 August, 2018, 14:57 | Author: Sergio Cook
This situation is that a customer reached its prescribed limit of its contractual data plan and the data was reduced. "We stand united and will work together to ensure this unsafe practice of throttling first responders will never happen again here in the Golden State". Chief Bowden's complaint dealt with the process of filing complaints with the FCC, which became harder with the lifting of net neutrality rules. Under the department's plan with Verizon, speed caps might be hit if data use goes over 25GB before the monthly billing period ends. Verizon acknowledged it had "made a mistake" and explained that the slowdowns occurred because the fire department had used up too much data, despite being subscribed to an unlimited data plan.
"Regardless of the plan emergency responders choose, we have a practice to remove data speed restrictions when contacted in emergency situations".
"There is an understanding in the agreements between service providers (including Verizon) and the State of Montana that public safety and emergency communications should not be subject to throttling", communications director Amber Conger said in a statement.
A Los Angeles city councilman said Friday he wants representatives of the country's major mobile data carriers to appear before the council and explain their policies on "throttling" public safety departments during emergencies.
The county first disclosed the issue in a court filing last week in support of a lawsuit seeking to restore net neutrality rules repealed by the Federal Communications Commission.
From now on, Verizon will lift restrictions and provide full network access to first responders during disasters, Maiorana said.
The California State Assembly held an informational hearing today to discuss Verizon's actions, led by Select Committee on Natural Disaster, Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding co-chairs Marc Levine, D-San Rafael, and Monique Limon, D-Santa Barbara.
Legislators sent a letter to the CEO of Verizon this afternoon calling for answers and assurances that the safety of first responders, and communities that are threatened by these massive blazes, will not be put in jeopardy so the company can pad their bank accounts. Verizon wasn't playing favorites when it came to the data that the firefighters received. Verizon said it will reveal more in an announcement next week.
To make things worse, Bowden adds, "Verizon imposed these limitations despite being informed that throttling" was curtailing the department's emergency response.
"I really truly hope that what comes out of this is a greater partnership in moving forward, that this does not happen again to any public agency", he said.
After the second throttling experience at the Pawnee Fire in June 2018, the department upgraded to a slightly more expensive plan.
In his testimony, Bowden said the Mendocino Complex Fire was the third time since December 2017 where his department was throttled.
The mobile command center described in the declaration, known as "OES Incident Support Unit 5262", was responsible for coordinating all the local government resources deployed to the Mendocino Complex Fire, Bowden wrote.
In that message, Stockman throttling as being when "the device that can normally act like a modern broadband internet connection is slowed to the point of acting more like an AOL dial-up modem from 1995".
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