Fighting fire with…!
Wednesday August 22nd 2018, 10:05 pm
Filed under: History,Politics

One way to make net neutrality personal:

In early July, Verizon downgraded the governmental-user data plan subscribed to by my county’s fire department and started throttling their data. They told them they had to upgrade to the 39.99 plan. The county fire chief did so.

Then the biggest fire in California history got going. The thousands of firefighters from all over were coordinating teams, keeping tabs on where all those edges of the fire were going and on each other, when Verizon–again throttled the data. The same person who’d told our fire chief he had to upgrade to 39.99 was telling him about two weeks later that oh no, now it’s 99.99 for what you want.

The fire chief who was in the middle of battling to save lives and homes while trying not to lose any of his firefighters and suddenly found himself flying blind.

He begged them to lift the throttling. Their real-time information-sharing was almost completely killed.

They. Refused.

Government regulations are the boogeyman to so many Republicans, but consider this: had net neutrality still existed, had Verizon been required to do the right thing, Verizon would not now have the potential liability for every property lost to the Mendocino fire from the moment that throttling began. If the firefighter from Utah who died was found to have died because of those communications being hampered, if the plane that dropped the fire retardant that broke the tree that killed him didn’t know he was underneath because of that throttling…

All to extort $60 out of a major public safety crisis.

It’ll be interesting to hear how many other fire departments had the same thing happening to them just then. I’m sure we’ll soon find out.

5 Comments so far
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You’ve heard about the lawsuit by the county? Now Verison is admitting they made a mistake and shouldn’t have throttled them. Duh!!

What insanity runs in corporate America when profits overrule humanity and common sense.

Comment by Anne 08.23.18 @ 12:13 am

Oh, this is insane! Really? For the sake of $60 measly bucks?? That poor man and his family. And his friends, fire department colleagues… all for corporate profits. This, THIS is why regulations exist.

Comment by Pegi 08.23.18 @ 3:04 am

And it’s only going to get worse. ?

Comment by Jayleen Hatmaker 08.23.18 @ 5:17 am

I am shaking my head! Really?! I would have written what Anne did: insanity…

Comment by Suzanne in Montreal 08.23.18 @ 9:44 am

This is so tragic and unnecessary. Shame on Verizon and all the rest of the money-grubbers who put dollars before people.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 08.23.18 @ 11:14 am

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