Congress Urged to Restore Net Neutrality in Wake of Firefighting DebacleFirst responders demand action after Verizon throttles data speeds for the fire department during a natural disaster in Santa Clara County, Calif.
More than 1,000 first responders from across the country threw their support behind net neutrality protections on Tuesday, with a letter demanding that lawmakers in Congress pass the Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to reverse the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s repeal of net neutrality.
“We are joining with millions of businesses, veterans, and Internet users in asking Congress to use their Congressional Review Act (CRA) powers to restore the strong net neutrality rules and other consumer protections that were lost when the FCC voted to repeal its 2015 Open Internet Order,” reads an letter endorsed by the internet freedom advocacy group Fight for the Future.
We saw the true danger of the @FCC‘s #NetNeutrality repeal when @Verizon was caught throttling California fire fighters. If you’re a first responder who relies on the open Internet to do your job, please sign our open letter: https://t.co/TCkDvp3p2x
— Fight for the Future (@fightfortheftr) August 28, 2018
The letter comes days after Californians got a first-hand look at how their lives are already being affected by internet service providers (ISPs) that are unencumbered by net neutrality rules, which prohibit companies like Verizon and Comcast from slowing down internet speeds and creating paid “fast lanes” for wealthy internet companies.
As Common Dreams reported last week, Verizon throttled, or slowed down, data speeds for the Santa Clara County fire department and suggested it should pay an extra fee for faster service—while fire fighters were battling some of California’s biggest wildfires ever earlier this summer.
Verizon’s move “had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services,” according to fire chief Tony Bowden, and the throttling resulted in a loud endorsement of California’s state-level net neutrality bill (SB 822), which the state Assembly could vote on as early as Tuesday, by the California Professional Firefighters (CPF) union.
The incident provoked emergency workers from California as well as other states to urge the passage of the CRA.
“Our call paging system relies on private ISPs to relay information from 911 dispatchers to ambulances—it is unconscionable for corporations to endanger public safety for the sake of profit,” said Corey, a paramedic in San Diego, in a personal note added to the open letter.
“EMTs rely on data to receive pages, vital paperwork necessary for patient care, and to help locate calls outside of our service area,” added Larry, an EMT based in Little Rock, Arkansas. “Throttling speeds can delay care and cost lives.”Wait, before you go…
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig
There are currently no responses to this article.
Be the first to respond.