The other day, we learned that Verizon throttled the data speeds of the Santa Clara County Fire Department in California while it was fighting wildfires, urging the firefighters to switch to a new data plan rather than lifting the throttling. Verizon later acknowledged that it should’ve lifted the throttling, and now the carrier has followed up with another announcement.
Verizon says that it’s removed all speed cap restrictions for first responders on the west coast and those in Hawaii that are dealing with Hurricane Lane. In case of another disaster, Verizon will lift its network access restrictions for public safety customers.
What’s more, Verizon says that it’s been working with first responders to improve its rate plan to better meet their needs. A new plan is being launched that includes unlimited data, no restrictions on mobile services, and automatic priority access. This plan will launch next week.
The news that the Santa Clara County Fire Department had their speeds throttled while trying to fight wildfires is frustrating, especially considering that Verizon customer support told the firefighters that they’d need to upgrade to a more expensive plan to stop being throttled. It is good to hear that speed cap restrictions have been lifted for those first responders and the ones in Hawaii, though. Plus, Verizon’s improved rate plan sounds like it ought to help avoid situations like this one from happening again.