Home » IT

Verizon slowed down firefighters’ internet during California wildfires: court filing

27 August, 2018, 14:58 | Author: Janis Wilson
  • Firefighters battling California's largest fire hit by crippling data slowdown slam Verizon's tactics

As California firefighters battled the largest fire in the state's history, Verizon slowed wireless data speeds to a crawl, making it nearly impossible for emergency personnel to use some of its high-tech tracking equipment.

California lawmakers are considering a bill that would require internet companies to restore net neutrality in California, requiring equal data access to all customers. Those rules are meant to force broadband companies to give all customers comparable service, and many critics have insisted they would have protected firefighters' internet access.

Maiorana says Verizon has removed all speed cap restrictions for first responders on the west coast, and also for emergency crews in Hawaii as Hurricane Lane approaches.

Verizon cut data speeds to a firefighter command vehicle.

He said agencies like his have a challenge: trying to predict how much data they'll need, and balancing it against their budget constraints.

Verizon said it often eases its policies in emergency situations. He prefaced his question to Reyes by saying the throttling and net neutrality connections are "conflated" and "different issues".

Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden detailed the experience as part of a lawsuit filed recently by 22 states and the District of Columbia that challenges the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of net neutrality rules, which prevented internet service providers from purposely slowing the data or "throttling" customers and discriminating against or favoring certain Internet traffic. "We are reviewing the situation and will fix any issues going forward", it said. "In this era of rapid change, you want to have flexibility to respond to new situations".

Meanwhile, U.S. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, and 11 other Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission calling Verizon's action "unacceptable" and demanding an investigation into whether it amounted to "unfair or deceptive" practices.

More news: Trump says market would 'crash' if he were impeached

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

The announcement came hours before the state Assembly Select Committee on Natural Disaster, Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding held an informational hearing on the incident.

"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 new plan rolls out nationwide next week, but was granted immediately for Washington, California and OR because of devastating summer wildfires and for Hawaii, which Friday was bracing for Hurricane Lane, a Category 2 storm.

In a statement, Verizon on Wednesday admitted that it had made a mistake and that it normally lifts limits on data usage in emergencies.

"This is not a reaction to Santa Clara", she said. "And we're making every effort to ensure that it never happens again".

"With my staff, I would rather keep my head down than speak publicly", said Bowden. The firefighters are now trying to control and put out the Mendocino Complex Fire, which has become the largest wildfire in the state's history.

Contrary to multiple media reports, Santa Clara County did not subscribe to the proposed $99.99-per-month plan, which would have covered the first 20 GB of data use and then charged an additional $8 per GB used, without be subject to data throttling, Williams said. Instead, a Verizon representative told the county to upgrade to a more expensive package.


  • South Africa's rand recovers as dollar weakens

    South Africa's rand recovers as dollar weakens

    AgriSA released statistics on farm murders that stated that there were 47 South African farmers murdered in a span of 12 months. The stark disparity stems from purchases and seizures during the colonial era that were then enshrined in law during apartheid.
    Ramaphosa clarity on land expropriation further calms investor nerves

    Ramaphosa clarity on land expropriation further calms investor nerves

    He said these included white farmers who were initially apposed to government's plan to fastrack changes to land ownership. Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson has come under fire for crying loud that South Africa is quickly turning into Zimbabwe .
    Madonna's 'tribute' to Aretha Franklin was so, so bad

    Madonna's 'tribute' to Aretha Franklin was so, so bad

    And I know she influenced so many people in this room tonight and I want to thank you Aretha for empowering all of us. Then the criticism came as it seemed to many like her tribute was more like an anecdote about her own career. "Well.
  • Multiple Fatalities At Video Game Tournament

    Multiple Fatalities At Video Game Tournament

    The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office used Twitter and Facebook to warn people to stay away from the Jacksonville Landing complex. The sheriff's department's Twitter indicated that many had sought safety in locked rooms in areas surrounding The Landing.
    United Kingdom  to Call for More Sanctions on Russian Federation

    United Kingdom to Call for More Sanctions on Russian Federation

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 13, 2018. Still, some lawmakers and other officials are concerned Russia's behavior is not changing quickly enough.

    Danny Boyle exits James Bond film

    The team behind the upcoming James Bond 25 movie have announced a big change: Danny Boyle will no longer serve as director. If you were thinking things were a little too quiet on the James Bond front the last few months, now we know why.
  • English Premier League wrap 25 August 2018

    English Premier League wrap 25 August 2018

    We were unlucky that an own goal [from Issa Diop] decided the game. Ask the doctor, he can explain better'. The second line players did very well.
    Huawei and ZTE banned from supplying 5G tech to Australia

    Huawei and ZTE banned from supplying 5G tech to Australia

    However, Beijing has dismissed the concerns as an "excuse" to prevent Chinese firms from winning lucrative contracts overseas . Pressure to push the companies out of the U.S. has only mounted in recent months and now, other countries are following suit.
    Spotify have responded to Nicki Minaj’s claims of unfair treatment

    Spotify have responded to Nicki Minaj’s claims of unfair treatment

    Minaj shifted 185,000 copies of Queen , according to Billboard Chart figures, with 78,000 from traditional sales. Ariana Grande released Sweetener on Friday (August 17), a week after Minaj's Queen .
  • Serena Williams tops Forbes list of highest paid female athletes

    Serena Williams tops Forbes list of highest paid female athletes

    Serena has been seeded 17th at this year's US Open one place below her sister Venus, organisers said on Tuesday. Williams is the only player in either bracket with a seed higher than her world ranking.
    Samsung Galaxy Note9 officially lands on Indian soil - Starting at Rs. 67,900

    Samsung Galaxy Note9 officially lands on Indian soil - Starting at Rs. 67,900

    You can now use the stylus as a remote to capture pictures, control presentations and music all via the button on the stylus. The Galaxy Watch highlights an AMOLED display with high resolution, Gorilla DX+ Glass on top and an Always-On Display.
    Westjet cancels Hawaii flights as Hurricane Lane bears down on islands

    Westjet cancels Hawaii flights as Hurricane Lane bears down on islands

    There are fears the extreme weather will trigger deadly flooding and landslides as the storm bears down on the islands. All public schools canceled classes until further notice and many state employees have been asked to stay home.


Unai Emery denies clash with Mesut Ozil
Jolted into action by that shock setback, Arsenal were level within five minutes. "He left the training and went home because he was sick".

Lane weakens to a tropical storm but Hawaii still gets drenched
Hawaii has had warnings about hurricanes before, though the last storm with significant damage was Hurricane Iniki in 1992. Governor David Ige urged residents to prepare for the worst by setting aside enough water, food and medicines for 14 days.

Oil slips as trade dispute outweighs USA stock decline
On the supply side, US crude oil production C-OUT-T-EIA rose back to 11 million barrels per day, the EIA report said . Instead, both countries activated another round of dueling tariffs on US$ 16 billion worth of each other's goods.

Pope Francis Meets Irish Abuse Victims, Expresses 'Shame'
Pope Francis will begin the second day of his historic trip to the Republic of Ireland at the Knock Marian shrine in County Mayo. Marie Collins, who was abused by a priest when she was being treated in hospital at the age of 13, was also among the eight.

S&P 500 Tiptoes to New Bull Market Record-Sort Of
The S&P 500 posted 21 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 109 new highs and 22 new lows. ENERGY: U.S. benchmark crude rose $1.16 to $67 per barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Zimbabwe: Decision Day... All Eyes On the Constitutional Court Bench
Following the court ruling scores of Zanu PF supporters poured onto the streets of Harare in celebration, singing and dancing. Mnangagwa took over for Mugabe after the latter was ousted in November for ordering violence against his own citizens.

Trump's finance chief Allen Weisselberg is granted immunity from prosecution
On Tuesday-the same day as Cohen's plea-former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was convicted on bank and tax fraud felonies. Calls and emails to the Trump Organization to reach Weisselberg and general counsel Alan Garten were not immediately answered.

Hurricane Lane, a dangerous Category 4 storm, headed toward Hawaii
State and County Emergency Management Agency officials are urging residents to stay up-to-date and prepare for Hurricane Lane. Hurricane Lane's maximum sustained winds have increased to near 160 miles per hour with higher gusts.

Trump's rant on interest rate rises depresses dollar
Powell is a gentleman and will likely hold his tongue, but don't dismiss a future response if Trump's tantrums continue in time. Next time he mutters veiled threats against the Fed , some real turbulence could ensue. "The other countries are accommodated".

Real, Atletico prepare bids for Chelsea stars
I'm good where I am now. "I think we have to work, improve in the basics and I'm not talking about only the defenders". The closure of the English transfer window on 9 August means Chelsea now can not sign any players until January.