Verizon slowed internet speed for first responders to fire

The move comes after Verizon slowed internet service to firefighters as they battled the largest wildfire in California history earlier this month

Verizon's moves are aimed at soothing mounting outrage sparked by the Santa Clara County Fire Department this week, which said that Verizon had throttled the data speeds of firefighters struggling to contain the Mendocino Complex Fire - what has become the largest wildfire California has ever seen. But in this case, officials have emphasized, homes and even lives were at stake. It provides a separate network, used only by first responders, and offers data plans with no limits or throttling.

Just days before the Legislature is to consider a controversial net neutrality bill regulating internet service providers, a Verizon lawyer told lawmakers that those kinds of regulations are "very unrelated" to a recent incident in which his company slowed down data speeds for Bay Area firefighters actively battling a major fire.

Bowden said that Verizon was throttling the OES 5262's speeds to less than 1/200th of the original speeds, interfering with its "ability to function effectively".

The revelations, which were first reported by Ars Technica, are buried in an addendum to a brief filed in support of 21 states and the District of Columbia, which together filed a lawsuit this year that essentially seeks to restore rules known as net neutrality.

That fire has burned 406,532 acres in Northern California.

Santa Clara County Fire Capt. Bill Murphy told CNN that the department's connection speed dropped to what you would expect from a dial-up service, making simple tasks like sending an email or updating a Google document nearly impossible. "(Net neutrality) addresses the issue of content discrimination, and we've made it clear we do not do that. The department chief has said the throttling deprived his firefighters of access to critical information, endangering them.

Santa Clara County Central firefighters saw their internet data flow slow down dramatically.

Krekorian's motion also raised concerns about members of the general public being throttled during emergencies and said that although Verizon has changed its policies, it "doesn't reflect the complexity of an emergency situation and the needs of the pubic in a disaster: what about the thousands of people who may be turning to their phones for evacuation orders who may be similarly, artificially throttled as a result of carrier plan design who may be unable to access life-saving information about a disaster?" "This was a customer support mistake".

"By implementing net neutrality, SB 822 will help prevent internet service providers from throttling, thereby preventing data speeds to be manipulated and, in turn, avoid crippling, or worse, deadly outcomes", said the CPF in a statement on Friday.

"The idea that Verizon or another provider can opt in or opt out in helping us do what the public demands is appalling", said Cindy Chavez, Santa Clara County supervisor.

The command and control vehicle requires data connection because of its use of software to track and manage resources in tackling incidents, with usage reaching 10GB per day. Not only did Verizon refuse to lift the cap it had placed on the internet speeds on an unlimited data plan, it tried to convince the department that switching to a different, more expensive one was its only viable solution. The Santa Clara department had tried to address it with the Verizon accounts manager at the time.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Prominent CS:GO YouTuber, McSkillet, reportedly died in auto crash
Aug 26, 2018 - 20:58
He was later known for trading "skins", which are digital files used to customize the appearance of the game's players. Pizarro and her daughter were going to Orange County to get contact lenses for Aryana when their lives suddenly ended.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Liberal South African Think Tank: Trump Is Right About Land Reform
Aug 24, 2018 - 11:45
As CNBC noted , this is the first time Trump has used the word "Africa" in a tweet since he was elected. She also said expropriation without compensation "would risk sending South Africa down the wrong path".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Scott 'Stop the boats' Morrison: Australia's latest PM
Aug 24, 2018 - 11:39
The leadership battle was sparked on Tuesday by an unsuccessful challenge by Dutton, who narrowly lost a vote against Turnbull. The Associated Press reports that the "revolving door" of prime ministers is "universally hated by Australians".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Manuel Pellegrini sends message to West Ham fans after Bournemouth walkout
Aug 24, 2018 - 11:00
They need to believe but if you don't have results it is more hard for them, ' said the former Manchester City manager last Saturday.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Michael Cohen's Lawyer Tries Asking For Donations - Gets Laughed At
Aug 24, 2018 - 08:15
Cohen said he organised hush money for two porn stars, who allegedly had sexual relations with Mr. In a morning tweet , Trump said , "I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family.

U.S. And China Impose Fresh Tariffs As Trade War Escalates
Aug 24, 2018 - 07:39
Economists reckon that every US$100 billion of imports affected by tariffs would reduce global trade by around 0.5 per cent. China's retaliatory tariffs apply to USA goods including coal, petrol, vehicles, motorcycles and medical equipment.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump's Proposed Emissions Rules Show The Shift In Climate Priorities
Aug 24, 2018 - 06:28
On the campaign trail in 2016, Trump promised to repeal Obama's rule, called the Clean Power Plan . This includes suggesting ways that individual states might regulate power plants.

VMAs: Madonna bashed over Aretha Franklin 'tribute'
Aug 21, 2018 - 18:11
To illustrate that point, I've bolded every instance in which Madonna references herself. On top of that, her outfit was criticized as culturally appropriative.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top MTV Reboots ‘The Hills’ With Original Cast Members
Aug 21, 2018 - 18:09
But is the star of the cult show, Lauren "LC" Conrad - aka The Girl Who Didn't Go to Paris - also going to be making a comeback? After concluding her reality TV career, Conrad became a lifestyle guru, starting a website and fashion line for Kohl's.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top NVIDIA Debuts $1,200 GeForce RTX GPUs Made for Gamers
Aug 21, 2018 - 17:59
Gamers will be able to play the most recent and upcoming titles in 4K with HDR at frame rates exceeding 60fps, according to Huang. Consumer graphics cards based on Turing will be available for pre-order immediately with deliveries in September and October.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top South Koreans enter North to reunite with kin split by war
Aug 21, 2018 - 17:58
The oldest visitor from South Korea was 101-year-old Baik Sung-gyu. And time is running out, with many of them aged 80 or older. Eighty-three North Koreans will be taking part.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Death toll nears 400 in India's flood-hit Kerala
Aug 21, 2018 - 16:43
High-range Idukki recorded the highest excess rainfall (92 per cent above normal) followed by Palakkad (72 per cent above normal). Dozens of helicopters have been dropping tonnes of food , medicine and water over areas cut off due to damaged roads and bridges.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump ignites Wall Street debate with his tweet on earnings
Aug 20, 2018 - 21:16
What is clear is that investors are more reluctant to invest with companies when they have less information on their performance. Others said that the prospect of fewer financial reports could exacerbate price swings around earnings or fuel insider trading.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Manchester United fans are angry with three players after performance v Brighton
Aug 19, 2018 - 22:54
I think when he's having a go at his opposition that's what I like, that's what I want. They've got absolutely nothing about them.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Merkel, Putin tackle Syria and Iran in meeting outside Berlin
Aug 19, 2018 - 22:46
After Trump met Putin while attacking Merkel and the German economy, Janning says, "she needs to have her own contact with Putin". Yet the foreign ministry insisted that Putin's visit "will not change anything in terms of Austria's foreign policy positions".