Los Angeles Times: Verizon lifts data restrictions on first responders after criticism for slowing service to firefighters

Los Angeles Times

By Hannah Fry

Verizon Wireless on Friday said it will immediately stop imposing data speed restrictions on first responders throughout the West Coast and Hawaii after facing intense criticism for reducing service to firefighters battling California’s largest-ever wildfire.

The telecommunication giant also said it will move forward in the coming weeks on a plan that will feature unlimited data without restrictions for public safety officials.

The announcement comes in a summer of epic fires in California and as Hawaii is grappling with torrential rainfall, flooding and power outages stemming from Hurricane Lane.

“This was not a fire drill,” Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael) said during the Natural Disaster Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding committee meeting on Friday. “I think we were all surprised that such an incident could occur. I’m grateful that Verizon has recognized they need to change the way they do business.”