This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
INTERNET provider Verizon has been accused of putting lives at risk by “throttling” a California fire department’s service as it fought deadly wildfires earlier this month.
Despite being advised of the impact of interfering with emergency communications in the midst of a crisis, the company demanded that the fire department upgrade its service package before it would restore capacity.
Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden warned the throttling “had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services” as firefighters tried to deal with wildfires that had spread across one million acres of land.
This includes the Mendocino Complex Fire — the largest single blaze in state history, which started on July 27 and is still yet to be fully contained.
As firefighters battled the blazes, Verizon allegedly confirmed it had limited the fire department’s internet service, telling County Fire it would only be restored if it switched to a more expensive plan and contacted the billing department.
Fire personnel were forced to use other departments’ services and their own personal devices until the additional charges were paid.
Mr Bowden’s statement is being used as evidence in a lawsuit filed by a number of government agencies in a bid to overturn the recent repeal of net neutrality legislation which gives internet providers the power “to block websites, throttle services and censor online content.”
He explained the fire department is on an “unlimited” data package and uses the service as a command and control resource, tracking and deploying fire engines to areas of high priority.
Mr Bowden accused Verizon of taking advantage of the situation to force the fire service to move onto a new, more expensive plan.
A Verizon spokesman said it had an agreement regarding emergency services and claimed it was a “customer support mistake.”
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.