Firefighters: Verizon slowed mobile web speeds during Mendocino blaze

Utah firefighter Mathew Burchett. Burchett died Aug. 13 while fighting the Mendocino Complex fire north of San Francisco

"Verizon representatives confirmed the throttling", Bowden added, "but rather than restoring us to an essential data transfer speed, they indicated that County Fire would have to switch to a new data plan at more than twice the cost, and they would only remove throttling after we contacted the department that handles billing and switched to the new data plan".

In an August 20 court filing, Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden said his department relies on internet services to keep track of fast-moving fires and coordinate resources and efforts among emergency personnel.

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".

Service providers in the USA have always been able to throttle mobile data after a data cap is reached, even when more robust net neutrality rules were in place.

Verizon says it had "made a mistake in how we communicated with our customer about the terms of its plan".

"Some officials are also upset that Verizon chose to slow wireless data speeds, restricting data transfers, a practice known as 'throttling". In addition, we consistently show up in times of disaster to extend our network capabilities, provide our customers with loaner devices, and provide customers of any provider with access to free charging stations.

"I don't want to pay for all that data every month on the off chance that we're going to use it", he said.

Before answering questions from the State Assembly's Select Committee on Natural Disaster, Response, Recovery and Rebuilding, Reyes revealed that Verizon is immediately lifting all data caps on public safety workers for unlimited data plans in four USA states, including California.

"In light of our experience, County Fire believes it is likely that Verizon will continue to use the exigent nature of public safety emergencies and catastrophic events to coerce public agencies into higher-cost plans, ultimately paying significantly more for mission-critical service-even if that means risking harm to public safety during negotiations."

The Mendocino Complex Fire alone has burned more than 400,000 acres and razed more than 270 structures.

This truck uses a Verizon SIM card for internet service and found this connectivity throttled from peaks of 50Mbps to 30kbps in the middle of fighting the wildfires in the region.

To make things worse, Bowden adds, "Verizon imposed these limitations despite being informed that throttling" was curtailing the department's emergency response.

After realizing that the unit's data connection was being throttled by Verizon, Bowden's technology staff members emailed Verizon, requesting that it end the throttling immediately in the interest of public safety, he wrote.

Despite the concern, this was not a net neutrality issue.

California Professional Firefighters threw their support Friday behind the pro-net neutrality bill in the Legislature, SB822, demanding the restoration of Obama-era regulations written by then-FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in 2015, which the Trump administration-led Federal Communications Commission repealed in 2017. Verizon customers have access to our more than 450,000-square mile 4G LTE coverage advantage over competitors.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Meghan Markle's Brother Blames Prince Harry for Their Family Feud
Aug 26, 2018 - 22:32
But when she couldn't give him the time he needed or wanted to spend with her, he got upset about that. Thomas Jr. continued, "Since Hollywood and being on that show-being a celebrity has changed her".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top John McCain, 'maverick' senator, dead at 81 - Hawaii News Now
Aug 26, 2018 - 18:32
McCain, who died Saturday at age 81, would not be president and would not take Pennsylvania in the 2008 general election. He was a courageous leader who served Arizona and the United States with tremendous pride, dignity and distinction.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top India rejects UAE govt’s $100m flood disaster fund offer
Aug 24, 2018 - 12:07
Rescue operations were carried out at a full force as almost 82,000 people were saved during the first day of the operations. There are an estimated three million Indians in the UAE, with many from Kerala which has a large Muslim population.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top West Ham's Pellegrini compares Wilshere to Pirlo
Aug 24, 2018 - 10:58
If we need to improve in this mobility, the quality is very important, but also how the player is moving on the pitch. Remember, this is a man bought in to get us, first of all, back into the Champions League.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Early performances show that Unai Emery got this signing right for Arsenal
Aug 24, 2018 - 08:47
NAIJ.com earlier reported that Premier League side Arsenal were ready to cash in on Super Eagles winger Alex Iwobi this summer. Arsenal are preparing for their third Premier League match of the season on Saturday as West Ham United visit the Emirates.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Britain to US, Europe: 'Go further' to counter Russia
Aug 24, 2018 - 08:45
The Donald Trump administration named additional targets of its North Korea sanctions for the third time this month alone. Reuters says US President Donald Trump has said he has no intention of lifting sanctions against Russian Federation.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top As new tariffs hit, US, China seek to avert more economic damage
Aug 24, 2018 - 07:42
Economists also believe that every $100 billion of imports affected by tariffs would reduce global trade by around 0.5 percent. The tariffs took effect this morning amid two days of talks in Washington between officials from both sides.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Here's how Battlefield 5 looks with Nvidia RTX effects
Aug 21, 2018 - 17:58
NVIDIA has launched the long awaited next generation of graphics cards from the company, the GeForce RTX. The new RTX 2080 Ti , RTX 2080 and RTX 2070 come with in-built real-time ray-tracing technology support.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tears, hugs, joy as family reunions begin
Aug 21, 2018 - 17:57
Almost 20,000 people have participated in 20 rounds of face-to-face reunions held between the countries since 2000. For many, it's a chance for a final meeting with parents or children living inside the secretive dictatorship.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Twitch Prime Dropping Ad-Free Viewing, Game Discounts
Aug 21, 2018 - 17:15
You can activate your Twitch Prime subscription after getting on Amazon Prime - you can go for a free Amazon Prime trial here . Twitch Prime is a great way to earn a load of extra goodies if you consume a lot of content on the streaming service.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top UCF ranked No. 21 in preseason AP top 25 poll
Aug 21, 2018 - 17:09
Every August, rankings releases are met with a popular refrain in response: that preseason polls don't matter. It's UM's highest ranking to open the season since starting as the No. 5 team in the country in 2004.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Death toll nears 400 in India's flood-hit Kerala, dozens missing
Aug 21, 2018 - 16:42
"We have a special responsibility to help and support those affected, especially during this holy and blessed days", he said. The UAE has offered Rs 700 crore even as the central government announced Rs 500 crore as an emergency relief for the state.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Manchester United's Jose Mourinho changes course and won't criticise individual players
Aug 19, 2018 - 22:57
A win or even a draw against one of the best teams in the league would go a long way in proving that Brighton deserves their spot. And judging by the performance against Brighton at the AMEX on Sunday afternoon, it looks like he is right on the money.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Kevin De Bruyne will not require surgery following knee injury
Aug 17, 2018 - 23:48
City are waiting to hear from Tottenham about where their Premier League match in London, scheduled for October 28, might be played.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Elon Musk Breaks Down During Interview
Aug 17, 2018 - 23:45
At midday, the trend line for Tesla's stock was excruciating as well , registering an 8 percent drop to around $308 a share. After the story published, the Times reported that Tesla contacted the editors to correct Musk's statement about the board.