Senators Request Details from Carriers on First Responder Data Plans
Monday, September 10, 2018 | Comments

Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris called on the FCC, Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile to guarantee service to first responders during emergencies and clarify policies regarding unlimited data plans.

In August, 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.

“We remain concerned that SCFD (Santa Clara Fire Department) may have been told that their plan was ‘unlimited,’ only because they could continue to purchase more data once they hit their data caps,” the senators wrote in the letter to Verizon. “If this was the case, then this strikes us as disingenuous marketing. By this logic, any restaurant with a menu is a ‘buffet.’ While we appreciate that Verizon has made a promise to lift data caps on its public-safety customers in the event of a future disaster, we would like to know more about how this came about in the first place, and Verizon’s specific plans to ensure that it won’t happen again.”

The letter to the FCC asked the commission to request information on data plans, caps and public-safety communications protections from the carriers. All five letters are here.

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