Firefighters Battling Mendocino Complex Say Verizon Hampered Information Efforts

Firefighters battling the Mendocino Complex fire hampered their data, making it hard to communicate information to those who needed it.

Posted: Aug 22, 2018 3:35 PM

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Firefighters battling the Mendocino Complex Fire claim that they were hampered by Verizon who they claimed limited their mobile data service. 

When Santa Clara Fire Department reached out to Verizon to fix the problem, they were told that the department needed to switch to a higher data plan, which was more than twice the cost they were paying for the original plan. 

"Our concern would be the public's ability to access the information that we are providing to them through the internet," said Bill Murphy, captain of the Santa Clara Fire Department. "We rely on the internet as a critical tool to communicate that information. If the data is throttled on the public's end, their ability to download that information is going to be severely impacted."

Verizon responded to the claims by saying that the fire department was subscribed to an unlimited data plan for government agencies that reduces speeds after a certain allotment of data. 

However, Verizon agreed that in that emergency situation they should have lifted the restrictions. 

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