Telecommunications

Verizon under fire for ‘throttling’ firefighters’ data in California blaze

Lawsuit argues the impaired emergency efforts show how loss of net neutrality protections can be deadly

California firefighters’ ability to battle a huge wildfire was impeded by Verizon Wireless throttling their internet connection, in a moment advocates say demonstrates the high stakes of the battle over net neutrality.

Santa Clara county fire department had paid for what Verizon described as an “unlimited” data plan for various internet-connected devices, but the data flow was throttled to about 1/200th of the typical speed – unusably slow for any meaningful data transfer.

Related: Californians watch wildfires burn their houses via home security cameras

Related: The Observer view on net neutrality

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