Members of Congress demand FTC investigation into Verizon’s throttling of firefighters’ data connectionsAugust 25, 2018
Multiple members of Congress, including Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, wrote a letter to the Federal Trade Commission today demanding an investigation into Verizon’s data-throttling practices surrounding emergency response workers. The letter comes after documents filed this week detailed how Verizon throttled firefighters’ data connections while they were battling the Mendocino, California wildfire. The company wouldn’t restore the firefighters’ data speeds until they upgraded their plan at double the price, despite already subscribing to an unlimited plan.
The letters says: “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.” It goes on to request that the commission particularly investigate whether Verizon’s actions could be considered “unfair or deceptive” under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
In response to the publication of its actions, Verizon said today that it would no longer cap emergency response workers’ data speeds. It’s also planning to introduce a new plan that’ll better account for the data of these workers during disasters.