Disastrous Impact Of Throttling Internet Traffic

In Decenternet, News

Why would the policy be, always profit over service?

In a business, owners should not only think of the revenue that their products and services will generate. They must put the customer service first and should be an excellent one. This is most important in building trust and patronage between the business owners and their customers.

But what if the business that has been trusted was the one who broke the great business-consumer relationship? One good example is the internet service provider, Verizon Wireless. This edge provider already has millions of subscribers throughout the US and many consumers are confident that what they pay for a subscription is worth it.

Perhaps not all is applicable or they are made to believe so. The Santa Clara County Fire Department purchased a data service plan from Verizon but slows down once a data usage has been reached. That means there is a data cap. The broadband provider retaliated that the company made a mistake in conveying the terms of the plan to the fire department.

The said fire department subscribed and paid Verizon for “unlimited” data but went through heavy throttling leaving them no choice but to pay the ISP more just to have a faster connection. Company account manager, Silas Buss told the fire department staff their need to upgrade their unlimited plan from $37.99/month to $39.99/month in early July before the fire ravaged the Mendocino Complex. The subscription has been raised to $99.99/month to lift the throttling.

As firemen battle to put out the fire in the Mendocino Complex, they are also having difficulty with the internet to which they rely heavily upon to send updates to their headquarters. The reason? Verizon is just throttling their data.

“County Fire has experienced throttling by its ISP, Verizon. This throttling has had a significant impact on our ability to provide emergency services. Verizon imposed these limitations despite being informed that throttling was actively impeding County Fire’s ability to provide crisis-response and essential emergency services,” Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowden declared.

Verizon’s throttling mainly impacted OES 5262, which is department vehicle set out to large fire occurrences as a command and control system. It is likewise utilized to monitor, coordinate, and arrange way-finding of resources across the state and country to the locations where they are most needed. The vehicle uses a Verizon SIM card in accessing the internet.

According to the firefighters in the scene, they have experienced internet speeds that declined to 1/200 compared to the previous speeds. They depend on real-time document-based apps including Google Docs to refresh information. The decrease in speed made the exchange of communication almost hopeless.

The Santa Clara County Fire Department cannot be blamed when they submitted the addendum as one of the bigger briefs by 22 state attorneys general along with other government agencies filed in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Their objective is to nix the recent invalidation of net neutrality rules by the FCC that forbid the blocking and throttling of contents as well as paid prioritization and data caps.

This incident of ravaging wildfires is very alarming. What is more alarming is the throttling of data where you need the service the most. ISPs really do not know how to keep their promise when they said they would not engage in blocking, throttling, or even paid prioritization. But what they have done to the Santa Clara County Fire
Department is a clear manifestation that net neutrality regulations should be restored and knock down the FCC’s Restore Internet Freedom where freedom only pertains to cable, wireless, and broadband providers.

Consumers can still have net neutrality in the Decenternet network. All contents are treated equally without discrimination. There is no blocking or throttling of contents and no case of paid prioritization. Consumers are provided with unrestricted access to the centralized and decentralized web so that they can freely communicate online without the worries of being surveilled or monitored.

As of the moment, the twin fires that started on July 27 with an unknown cause gobbled up both sides of Clear Lake in Mendocino, Lake and Colusa counties. The wildfire had accounted for over 40,0000 acres of burned forest which is more than half the mass of Rhode Island.

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