Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | After throttling firefighters, Verizon praises itself for “sav[ing] lives”

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica |

Verizon and public safety —

Verizon tries to repair reputation after throttling firefighters during wildfire.


Hexbyte - Tech News - Ars Technica | A firefighter sitting in a fire truck and talking.
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A firefighter in a Verizon ad touting the carrier’s commitment to public safety.

Verizon

Verizon is touting its commitment to firefighters and public safety in a new ad, released weeks after Verizon throttled the Santa Clara County fire department while it was fighting California’s largest-ever wildfire.

“From coast to coast and everywhere in between, people rely on us to ensure they can communicate when they need it most,” Verizon said in an introduction to the new ad. “Our innovations and technology allow first responders to do their jobs. What we do saves lives.”

The ad, titled “Enabling heroes,” received a chilly reception on YouTube, leading Verizon to disable comments and voting on the video. The video is still being panned in a Reddit discussion.

Verizon Chief Network Officer Nicki Palmer discusses the Verizon network in the ad, saying, “we are constantly innovating, from a dedicated lane on our network just for first responders to cell towers on wheels. We can even fly cells on drones so communications stay up. In times of crisis, their calls go through and they can get their job done.”

The ad also says that “more first responders in America rely on Verizon than any other network.”

“Verizon: Enabling heroes.”

Hexbyte – Tech News – Ars Technica | Throttling of “unlimited” data

Verizon’s treatment of fire department mobile plans came under scrutiny in August when the Santa Clara County fire department detailed several incidents of Verizon throttling an “unlimited” data plan during disaster responses. Verizon called its failure to lift throttling restrictions during a wildfire response “a customer support mistake,” but the department argues that Verizon is violating net neutrality.

Verizon subsequently promised that firefighters would get a free upgrade to a new plan with unlimited data, no speed caps, and priority access. Verizon said it would introduce the plan more than a month ago, but it’s not clear if that has happened yet.

We asked Verizon for an update on the new unlimited plan today and will update this story if we get an answer. Verizon did tell The Verge last

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