News

Friday, August 24, 2018

ABC 10


By Giacomo Luca

On Friday, a California general assembly committee questioned firefighters and date providers about what happened. The Santa Clara County Fire Department says in a lawsuit that Verizon slowed its internet communications at a Northern California wildfire command center three weeks ago.

Verizon Senior Vice President Mike Maiorana says the service restrictions were removed as of Thursday and include Hawaii, where emergency crews are rescuing people Friday from areas flooded by Hurricane Lane.

Verizon representatives explained during the hearing that the policy will also be rolled out in the near future and apply to first responders during emergency situations nationwide.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Fresno Business Journal


By Edward Smith

A local distiller endeavoring to make a product to rival French Cognac is finding an established home in a new tasting room in Atwater.

Ken Andrus of Fresno, owner of In Distill of the Night, will be serving Velvet Night Brandy alongside other liquors being offered at tasting room Sweet Potato Spirits when Atwater-based D & S Farms opens the location in October.

The tasting room will feature gin, potato vodka, rye whiskey and brandy  where servers can spend time explaining each of the different flavor profiles before them.

“We’re talking about people enjoying an experience and more true spirit-tasting instead of slamming a glass of wine down,” Andrus said. “You’ll be able to see the different character of the spirits and why they have those characteristics.”

Friday, August 24, 2018

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.

Friday, August 24, 2018

TechSpot


By William Gayde

Members of the California State Assembly are meeting today in an effort to discover why Verizon throttled the mobile data speeds for firefighters in Santa Clara County. Verizon had previously said it was a customer service error but fire officials and lawmakers aren't buying that. The hearing will include comments from fire department staff and Verizon representatives.

While fighting the Mendocino Complex fire, a Santa Clara Fire Department vehicle had its data speed throttled to 1/200th of its normal speed. Firefighters use this vehicle and cloud service like Google Docs to coordinate response efforts as fire conditions change. The department did have an unlimited plan, but once they went over their 25GB of high-speed data, they were throttled.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Mercury News


By Seung Lee

Verizon will lift all data caps on public safety workers for unlimited data plans in California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii immediately after the company dramatically slowed down data speeds for Santa Clara County firefighters helping to battle the Mendocino Complex Fire.

After a maelstrom of criticism, including from California State Assemblymembers who convened a hearing on the matter Friday,Verizon will allow public safety workers, including firefighters in the four states, to have unlimited data with no price increases and data slowdowns, also known as throttling, the company said in an announcement Friday. 

Friday, August 24, 2018

Associated Press


By Don Thompson

 

Verizon rolled out changes Friday as state lawmakers said they were outraged to learn the telecommunications company had slowed firefighters’ internet service while they battled what became the largest wildfire on record in California.

Verizon said it removed all speed cap restrictions for emergency workers fighting wildfires on the West Coast and for those in Hawaii, where emergency crews were rescuing people from areas flooded by Hurricane Lane.

The company promised to lift restrictions on public safety customers and provide full network access when other disasters arise.

The announcement came hours before the state Assembly Select Committee on Natural Disaster, Response, Recovery, and Rebuilding held an informational hearing on the incident.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Ars Technica


By Jon Brodkin

​​​​​State lawmakers hold hearing today

Verizon may be worried about losing customers to AT&T, which is operating the government-subsidized FirstNet network for public safety agencies. The Santa Clara department has begun using FirstNet "as a supplement to Verizon to avoid future issues," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Verizon today said it should still be a top choice for public safety departments: