While the Mendocino Complex fire consumes increasing acres of California, Verizon and the Santa Clara County Fire Department have their own flame war going.
Ars Technica’s Jon Brodkin reported on Aug. 21 that the fire department had seen its data services throttled was filing a lawsuit seeking a reinstatement of federal net neutrality rules.
Verizon replied yesterday that the throttling had was not related to net neutrality but was the result of the fire company’s choice of data plan and a customer service mistake.
“This customer purchased a government contract plan for a high-speed wireless data allotment at a set monthly cost … [where] speeds are reduced when they exceed their allotment until the next billing cycle,” Verizon said in a prepared release. “In this situation, we should have lifted the speed restriction when our customer reached out to us. This was a customer support mistake.”
According to today’s article in Ars Technica, the fire department rejected Verizon assertion that net neutrality was not involved.
“Verizon’s throttling has everything to do with net neutrality—it shows that the ISPs will act in their economic interests, even at the expense of public safety,” County Counsel James Williams said on behalf of the county and fire department. “That is exactly what the Trump Administration’s repeal of net neutrality allows and encourages.”