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California Wildfires isps Net Neutrality Technology throttling Verizon wildfires

Maybe a Few Hamiltons Would Change You First Responders’ Minds


Cal Fire personnel responding to the Mendocino Complex fire near Ladoga, California in August 2018.
Photo: Noah Berger (AP)

Mobile giant Verizon has faced withering criticism in the months since it throttled Santa Clara County Fire Department firefighters trying to contain California’s Mendocino Complex Fire, then tried to force them to purchase increased data even as they were begging for immediate assistance. It said it would immediately stop throttling emergency personnel responding to wildfires in the West Coast and Hawaii, and released a glowing ad trying to convince people that first responders actually really love the mega-corporation (over 1,000 signed an open letter saying they do not).

When we last checked, it remained unclear whether Verizon had actually rolled out a promised plan with “priority access” and “no caps on mobile solutions” for first responders—the company told Ars Technica those contracts needed to be approved by “various national and state agencies.” But this week, it did announce that current and former police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and emergency volunteers can now shave a few bucks off their personal “unlimited plans” (the cheapest of which can be throttled at any time, and the most expensive of which has a built-in cap of 75 gigabytes a month before throttling kicks in). Per a Verizon blog post:

Starting today, customers who are state & local police, fire and EMS employees, retirees or volunteers can sign up for the Go Unlimited plan for $30 per line per month for four lines when enrolled in Auto Pay– a savings of $40 per month (plus taxes and fees). And now that you can mix and match unlimited plans for the whole family, first responders can save even more on all Verizon Unlimited consumer plans: get $15 off one line, $35 off two lines and $40 off three or more lines.

“Verizon is doubling down on our support of these brave men and women by giving them even more value on their personal lines,” Verizon executive Mike Maiorana said in the statement. “It’s our way of saying thank you for putting their lives on the line and keeping us safe.”

…Thanks? Glad to know that when shit hits the fan, you’ll shove a few ten-dollar bills at us sometime down the road.

[Verizon via the Verge]



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