#NetNeutrality: Verizon Throttled California Firefighters Or Something

The supporters of the Obama era Net Neutrality, which would have turned the Internet into a public utility the same was the 1940’s wired phone service was, think they totally have the perfect example as to why Net Neutrality is needed. Here’s big NN supporter (and unhinged lunatic) Alyssa Milano

Let’s see that story which is causing her, her followers, and other NN supporters to freak out

As wildfires burned over a million acres in California this summer, one San Francisco Bay Area fire department used its cellphone network to coordinate trucks and personnel from all over the state – until the department reached its data limit and its service provider slowed down data speeds.

This week, in documents submitted as evidence in a lawsuit over the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules, Santa Clara County Fire Chief Tony Bowden detailed how Verizon’s rules over what happens when customers go over the data limits on its plans disrupted devices essential to his department for coordination of firefighting resources.

Bowden said in the declaration, first reported by “Ars Technica,” that the Santa Clara County Fire Department had an unlimited data plan with Verizon but internet service slowed to 1/200th normal speed after the SCCFD reached 25 gigabytes of data usage.

Verizon refused to lift the restrictions on data speeds until the fire department upgraded to a more expensive service plan, Bowden said.

We totally need Net Neutrality, how dare they slow the speed down….wait, what was that part about slowing down after reaching 25GB?

Slowing down data speeds after a customer reaches its monthly data limit is a common practice among internet service providers and cellular carriers that’s known as throttling. Users can still access the cellular network for basic services like email or web browsing, but speeds are often too slow for activities like video streaming.

You get what you pay for. Providers often offer plans where you are unlimited, but only so much is at high speed. After that, it’s at a slower speed. This is exactly what the Santa Clara County firefighters had. It’s right there in the plan

The slowing stopped after the fire department paid Verizon for more data.

Your car isn’t moving till you put more gas in it. Not a perfect analogy, but, hey, it’s 645am, and you get the idea.

The repeal of the Obama-era Open Internet Order ended the previous consumer protections that prevented Internet service providers from blocking or slowing legal traffic, or charging for faster delivery of some content. Under the new law, ISPs are required to disclose any blocking, throttling or prioritization of their own content or from their partners on customers’ broadband connections, and more of the burden falls to the consumer to complain or simply switch providers. Verizon and other major telecom and Internet providers lobbied to overturn the old rules, saying they were unnecessarily burdensome.

Even with Obama’s NN this would still occur, as that was the plan the firefighters signed up for.

That all said, was still rather a dick move by Verizon, which could have earned itself some good will by giving the firefighters a temporary boost while fighting the fires.

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