Verizon Sued After Slowing Internet For California Firefighters

Verizon is currently undergoing a lawsuit from a California fire department, that claims they slowed down their internet service while out fighting fires.

By NathanG on August 22, 2018
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Verizon is currently being sued by the Santa Clara County Fire Department, for drastically slowing the Department’s internet speed when their data limit had been reached. This occurring while the firefighters were using the phone service to coordinate their efforts when battling fires across the state. The lawsuit claims that Verizon slowed down the data speeds of devices and resources that were essential for the department to communicate and coordinate firefighting efforts.

ABC10 reports that Santa Clara County Fire Chief, Tony Bowden, declared in a statement that Verizon slowed the internet service of the fire department to 1/200th of the normal speed. Once the SCCF reached its 25 gigabyte limit, the service provider failed to lift the data restrictions until the fire department upgraded to a more expensive plan.

Chief Bowden continued by describing support vehicles that the department routinely employs when fighting fires. “These support units,” Bowden said,  ” use 5-10 gigabytes of data per day via the Internet using a mobile router and wireless connection to direct resources where they’re needed”.

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The statement concluded by stating that the Santa Clara County Fire Department was put into an unfair situation because of these actions by Verizon. The department was reportedly forced to use other agencies’ internet service providers when responding to emergencies. Additionally, Bowden revealed that many firefighting personnel were forced to use their own devices to remain connected.

These claims are being brought forward in a brief by 22 attorneys general, in a lawsuit that is attempting to overturn the recent repeal of net neutrality rules by the Federal Communications Commission.

To read more about the lawsuit and allegations against Verizon, click here.

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