US telco cut data to firefighters tackling brush fire

Verizon capped data to a mobile command centre after firefighters exceeded monthly data limit

Tags: EmergencyUSAVerizon Wireless
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US telco cut data to firefighters tackling brush fire Verizon cut data speeds to a firefighter command vehicle. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  August 24, 2018

Firefighters tackling one of the worst ever brush fires in the US had their mobile data cut due to overuse.

US telco Verizon cut back data service to a mobile command and control centre to just 0.5% of normal level after the firefighters exceeded their data package.

The command and control vehicle requires data connection because of its use of software to track and manage resources in tackling incidents, with usage reaching 10GB per day.

The teclo restricted data service in the middle of the Medocino Complex fire in July this year, capping data at 0.2Mbps, which the Santa Clara County Fire Department said seriously hampered firefighting efforts. The Mendocino Complex fire has become the largest ever brush fire in California.

Verizon admitted its mistake, but said that it had pointed out the terms of the contract to the fire department.

Details of the incident have come to light during a court filing to reverse the repeal of the US's net neutrality rules, the BBC reported.

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