Lawmakers Ask FTC to Investigate Verizon, Other Carrier Public-Safety Agency Practices
Monday, August 27, 2018 | Comments

Several lawmakers wrote to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairman Joseph Simons, asking him to investigate whether Verizon’s practices with the Santa Clara County Fire Department were unfair or deceptive.

Last week, Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden said in a court brief regarding net neutrality that Verizon throttled the California county’s data speeds during the Mendocino Complex Fire, hindering its response efforts.

Verizon said the incident had nothing to do with net neutrality. However, the letter to Simons said the FCC should be responsible for oversight of public-safety networks and communications. “Unfortunately, with its repeal of the 2015 Open Internet Order, the FCC has abdicated its jurisdiction over broadband communications and walked away from protecting consumers, including public-safety agencies,” the letter said. “We, therefore, call on the FTC to protect consumers from unfair or deceptive acts or practices stemming from this incident.”

The letter, signed by Reps. Anna Eshoo, Sen. Nancy Pelosi and 11 additional lawmakers, said the FTC must investigate whether Verizon and other communications companies are being unfair or deceptive in the services they’re offering to public-safety entities.

“ … and if so, to determine what remedies are appropriate to ensure our first responders have adequate service when lives are on the line,” the letter said.

The full letter is here.

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