Verizon Throttled The 'Unlimited' Data Plan Of A Fire Dept. Battling Wildfires

from the herp-derp dept

We’ve long discussed how Verizon (like most U.S. cellular carriers) has a terribly-difficult time understanding what the word “unlimited” means. Way back in 2007 Verizon was forced to settle with the New York Attorney General after a nine-month investigation found the company was throttling its “unlimited” mobile data plans after just 5GB of data usage, without those limits being clearly explained to the end user. Of course Verizon tried for a while to eliminate unlimited data plans completely, but a little something called competition finally forced the company to bring the idea back from the dead a few years ago.

But the company’s new “unlimited” data plans still suffer from all manner of fine print, limits, and caveats. That includes throttling all video by default (something you can avoid if you’re willing to pay significantly more), restrictions on tethering and usage of your phone as a hotspot or modem, and a 25 GB cap that results in said “unlimited” plans suddenly being throttled back to last-generation speeds as slow as 128 kbps. In short, Verizon still pretty clearly has no damn idea what the word unlimited actually means, nor does it much care if this entire mess confuses you.

The latest case in point: one fire department in Santa Clara County, California had subscribed to what it thought was an unlimited Verizon wireless data plan for its mobile command and control center (OES 5262) vehicle. The vehicle is used to manage department resources during wildfires and other emergencies. But a brief (pdf) filed this week by net neutrality supporters pushing for restoration of net neutrality rules (first spotted by Ars Technica) highlights how the fire department suddenly found the vehicle (and all connected systems) largely unusable because Verizon had throttled its cellular data connection after 25 GB of usage:

“Santa Clara Fire paid Verizon for “unlimited” data but suffered from heavy throttling until the department paid Verizon more, according to Bowden’s declaration and emails between the fire department and Verizon that were submitted as evidence.

“In the midst of our response to the Mendocino Complex Fire, County Fire discovered the data connection for OES 5262 was being throttled by Verizon, and data rates had been reduced to 1/200, or less, than the previous speeds,” Bowden wrote. “These reduced speeds severely interfered with the OES 5262’s ability to function effectively. My Information Technology staff communicated directly with Verizon via email about the throttling, requesting it be immediately lifted for public safety purposes.”

This being the telecom industry, Verizon’s support response to the problem wasn’t what you’d call top shelf. Instead of quickly understanding the dire nature of the complaint and restoring the connection to full speeds, the fire department says Verizon informed them that the fire department needed to upgrade to a new data plan at more than twice the cost. At one point, a Verizon account rep advised that the fire department should pony up for Verizon’s per gigabyte rate (which has varied at prices ranging up to a whopping $15 per gigabyte).

If you’re playing along at home, this is nothing new. Cellular carriers often impose all manner of confusing limits and caveats as part of an intentional effort to upsell you to more expensive tiers of service you may not actually need. Historically, the FCC’s now-discarded net neutrality rules allowed for this kind of throttling in cases of congestion and “reasonable network management” (though this term has long been abused). But the fire department says its connection was being throttled at all times, not just during periods of congestion.

And, lo and behold, the department technically couldn’t formally complain to the FCC because Verizon had, as we’re all well aware, just got done spending millions of dollars and countless lobbying hours to dismantle net neutrality protections, notes Ars:

“Santa Clara could have complained to the FCC under the now-removed net neutrality system, which allowed Internet users to file complaints about any unjust or unreasonable prices and practices. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s decision to deregulate the broadband industry eliminated that complaint option and also limited consumers’ rights to sue Internet providers over unjust or unreasonable behavior.”

Lovely. Verizon subsequently admitted that the company shouldn’t have throttled first responders anyway, as that was a violation of the company’s own policies. But this being the telecom industry, customer service gaffes are a feature, not a bug.

Granted, this is the same company that has fought for more than a decade to crush net neutrality while not only actively denying that’s what it was doing, but insisting that net neutrality needed to be dismantled to help protect public safety. As such, there’s nothing about this story that’s remotely surprising. Verizon has worked tirelessly to ensure it doesn’t have to be particularly transparent, whether we’re talking about net neutrality or privacy, and the end result has been on proud display for decades.

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Comments on “Verizon Throttled The 'Unlimited' Data Plan Of A Fire Dept. Battling Wildfires”

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139 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

"Who cares about a fire, I've got a data plan to sell!"

Instead of quickly understanding the dire nature of the complaint and restoring the connection to full speeds, the fire department says Verizon informed them that the fire department needed to upgrade to a new data plan at more than twice the cost. At one point, a Verizon account rep advised that the fire department should pony up for Verizon’s per gigabyte rate (which has varied at prices ranging up to a whopping $15 per gigabyte).

Dealing with an active fire and the rep decided that that was a perfect time to try to force them to ‘upgrade’ their plan. And yet some people have argued that there’s no need for pesky rules or regulations because public shame would be enough to keep companies like Verizon in check.

Kinda hard to shame someone clearly incapable of feeling it.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: "Who cares about a fire, I've got a data plan to sell!"

If ever there were something to rally public support of Net Neutrality around, this may very well be it.

“Verizon cares more about money than lives”.

or perhaps:

“Verizon would be fine with watching you burn to death unless you pay(?)”

Many, the hatchet piece which could be written based upon this…!

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

I poked in the Ars story a bit…
The original upgrade they said they needed… was a $2 price bump. And until they talked to billing and signed a new agreement they wouldn’t unthrottle it.

Verizon tries to portray this as out of the ordinary & they love saving people except for the firefighters pointing out they have done this exact same thing for years during fires.

Didn’t we clear a bunch of airspace so we could have a nationwide emergency responder network, that wouldn’t be at the whim of corporate vultures.

One wonders how much we handed them already to build that out & gotten nothing in return.

Flakbait (profile) says:

Re: Re:

First, the amount of the price bump is irrelevant when you’re on a fire scene. Even bypassing the procurement and purchasing processes and putting it on your own credit card is a hazard, both career-wise and financially. God alone knows what interwebz providers are going to charge tomorrow.

Second, willingness to put it on your own credit card doesn’t matter if the ISP needs a signed contract…and you’re currently on a fire scene.

Finally, FirstNet, the federal authority tasked with building the first responders broadband network, is actively rolling out the network. https://www.firstnet.gov/

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

It was more about the fact that if they could get $2 a month more they would unthrottle it.

It wasn;t about using a personal card, it was their Verizon contact felt no pressure in the middle of this to return a call until later the next day to pitch the $99 plan.

Firstnet… how nice that we’re handing more cash to ATT to get it built out, while they are giving more coverage in rural areas… why hasn’t the build-out considered the fact a majority of the state as been on fire every year for the last few years?
A massive incident requiring linking multiple different groups under a single command… isn’t that the point?

Perhaps they are using the standard model of build out in communities where someone needs to get reelected over actual logistical concerns & needs.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As I read their comment first responders shouldn’t have to need to use their own cards for this but a ‘we need a connection right now‘ scenario could result in that being the quickest way to get it, except for the fact that if an official contract is needed even a willingness to put your own personal funds on the line for a restored connection might not be enough.

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Which, hilariously, actually costs $140 just to get the same amount of un-throttled data as before.

Unlimited detractors claim you need metered plans to encourage people to avoid data use. But, the soft cap at 20 is lower then their unlimited plan’s old throttling cap, and so they know they are blowing right past that soft cap. And in an emergency, when that cap is expected to be blown past, a cap does not incentivize lower data usage. “sorry bob, im not sure we can justify checking the expected wind shifts in the area of this fire…We’ve already used 25 gigs of data. We have to be conscientious of the bandwidth we are using while trying to prevent the county from burning to the ground, you know.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Conundrum

And here you are on an article noting the effects of a lack of regulation complaining about regulation. Therefore you opinion of the effects of regulation are about as close to reality as the RIAA estimate of the loses due to piracy, which is to say somewhere off in fantasy land.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Conundrum

You clueless knob. Things are heavily regulated. The problem is that you have a screwed up definition of regulations.

These are your definitions of regulations.

Bad Regulations = No Regulations
Good Regulations = Regulations

I bet you are not even intelligent enough to realize what that does to the debate about regulations do you? It turns it all into one giant argument over a bunch of meaningless fucking buzzwords. And the corrupt Democrats in Washington love you clueless voters for it. Because they get cum these buzzwords into your mouth for you to swallow every election. And when they do put in these regulations… you get fucked up the ass or they get reworked by Republicans pissing you off to no end. Every weapon you give your politician to fight something you don’t like is also a weapon you give to politicians you hate for them to fight against something you do like!

So yea, I quite like my fantasy land… you are the one bitching about yours!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Conundrum

Actually I know what good regulation is, it is one infrastructure provider, and a choice of ISPs to provide me service over that infrastructure. Meanwhile the US problem is not so much one of regulation, but rather corruption of the regulatory system so that it serves those it is meant to regulate, rather than the people it is meant to be serving.

Its time you stopped attacking regulations, and started to work on fixing the regulatory system.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Conundrum

But not you, apparently. How is it that it is always ‘their’ fault with folks like you? You have NO responsibility in this?

I actually blame the FEC, and the politicians who appoint the FEC members who said money is speech and it’s OK for anyone to spend whatever they want in soft money. Politicians, whom I did not vote for.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Conundrum

“I actually blame the FEC”

That’s okay, I blame them too! Just for different reasons. Do you know who else I blame? The people that asked for and created the FEC.

What did you eat for breakfast this morning? And how much did you pay for it and where did you buy it from?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Indeed, the idea that "Verizon still pretty clearly has no damn idea what the word unlimited actually means" is ludicrous. They know exactly what it means, and they know that using the word will get them extra money with negligible risk of meaningful punishment.

"Unlimited" plans would disappear overnight if telco executives could go to prison for blatently false advertising.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: And first Zombie of the day is "Morgan Wick" -- 6 year GAP!

Yes, this “account” with 72 comments total dates from 2009 when made ONE comment, then NONE until 2015!

It’s just ODD. For any site except Techdirt. Brings total known with 6 year or more gaps to NINE, out of a couple hundred (whom I deem more or less regulars: with “accounts” routinely unused for for 4-6 year, it’s difficult to do stats).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: And first Zombie of the day is "Morgan Wick" -- 6 year GAP!

Yeah. I don’t see that as unusual. I am too lazy to create an account but you would probably say the same thing about mine. I have been a lurker for many years but probably only commented about 40-50 times total. I think I even had a two year gap when I went back to college.

ryuugami says:

prices ranging up to a whopping $15 per gigabyte

Holy mother of…

Are they bringing you the requested data on foot? I had cheaper internet (even after adjusting for the general cost of living) twenty years ago, living in a small fishing town, in an essentially third-world country that was ravaged by war only a few years prior. Your country is weird.

Anonymous Coward says:

regardless of the apologies and ‘this shouldn’t have happened’ bullshit excuses, this is the exact sort of thing that happens when a country, like almost all of them that were ‘affected’ by the purposefully induced ‘financial crisis of 2006 ish and then became controlled by Conservative governments! nothing and i mean nothing is more important to these assholes than ensuring that they get the most money from any situation, regardless of what the issue is or who is involved/affected! there should be absolutely no restrictions whatsoever on ANY of the emergency services, anywhere or in contacting them! there should be absolutely no charges levied to these services either! how the hell can anyone in their right mind even consider charging for something like this? what a gross pity that the cunts making these decisions weren’t on the receiving end of having their mega-roomed mansions destroyed by one of, any of the wild fires we’re talking about atm. but what about other emergency situations? maybe a plane crash? a car crash? whatever. people surely are far more important than profit, aren’t they?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I will take pointless hypocrisy for 500 Alex.

The D’s are every bit as responsible as the R’s for that. If you are going to point out one side for being bad about something then they need to at least be the leader of being bad about it by a clear margin.

The corruption is deep and wide on both sides… the only difference is the rhetoric coming from diarrhea mouths like yours trying to make it sound like their shit does not stink!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yeah – in the 60s Glass–Steagall was dilluted and then Clinton signed the repeal in the 90s.

There was a bank prob in the 70s were people actually went to jail! And then we have the 2008 crash – no one was even investigated much less prosecuted for their obvious and blatant transgressions. Some do not even have tp pay taxes upon their ill gotten gains.

However – there are huge differences between the two parties and if you have not caught on to wtf is going on then maybe it is time to wake up.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“purposefully induced ‘financial crisis of 2006 ish and then became controlled by Conservative governments!”

Not sure what you are attempting to say here, but wasn’t Bush43 in office during 2006? The election was in 2008. But to claim that the government is/was liberal or conservative is quite the stretch and possibly just bullshit.

You can't shout "Fire!" in a Fire Dept unless ther says:

No blame for Fire Dept that could have arranged in advance?

All this because a Fire Dept willfully didn’t budget an extra TWO BUCKS according to one comment up there? Let alone write a formal letter to Verizon Customer Service asking them to at least see that highest possible plan, if not guarantee vital service?

Huh. Apparently on Techdirt Verizon bears all blame, is supposed to know which accounts are vital, instead of the person directly responsible foreseeing the need.

This is just an ordinary Customer Service Rep being BLAMED by Fire Dept for what latter should have set up YEARS before. It’s passing the buck. — And Verizon is charitably taking the blame, rather than get into losing PR fight with the clown who didn’t prepare for emergency, even though paid explicitly to.

You can't shout "Fire!" in a Fire Dept! says:

Re: No blame for Fire Dept that could have arranged in advance?

ALSO: relying on COMMERCIAL services is now vital for Fire Dept? Isn’t that huge flaw in itself?

ALSO: this is picked up only by "net neutrality" advocates to attack ISP / carrier, WHEN, if the net was truly "neutral", those vital connections would be at SAME priority as their downloading infringed content! How’s that going to work, kids? Here you are DEMANDING PRIORITY ’cause that’d be "net neutrality"!

Sheesh.

Toom1275 (profile) says:

Re: No blame for Fire Dept that could have arranged in advance?

what latter should have set up YEARS before

…except for the fact that it was set up properly before. Verizon then modified things.

Verizon has even admitted that it was wrong of them to have continued throttling after having been notified of its error.

Damn, you shills’ lies are pathetic.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No blame for Fire Dept that could have arranged in advance?

"Huh. Apparently on Techdirt Verizon bears all blame, is supposed to know which accounts are vital, instead of the person directly responsible foreseeing the need."

Given that the story involves customer service, that is Verizon’s job, as the company should have put that information in the account’s file (especially since this has apparently happened before and the dept was told by Verizon it wouldn’t happen again).

Anonymous Coward says:

Pigs...

I see the internal Verizon’s policy is FDs should be treated better than the average Joe and Techdirt agrees. So at the end – all the animals are equal, but the pigs are more so? That’s lovely… Let’s make more “special client exceptions” – politics friendly to telecoms come to mind. Then all the other clients will pay truckloads of money for even more s.itty service.

It that what you wanted to say, Karl?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Pigs...

What’s the problem?

There are two:
1. If PD bought a service aimed at watching cat videos, they should not complain they are treated as cat video watchers.

2. Techdirt’s inconsistency – for not seeing that this would be against net neutrality and that it would need automatic content differentiation Techdirt so vocally opposes.

I never said PD should not have special treatment. But they should not buy a standard product and expect a special treatment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Pigs...

If PD bought a service aimed at watching cat videos

They didn’t. They specifically signed an agreement with Verizon years before that the service provided to them would be different than the service provided to cat video watchers. Verizon then went and reneged on that agreement. How is this so hard for you?

for not seeing that this would be against net neutrality

No, it’s not. Did you read the net neutrality rules? Have you actually LISTENED to ANYONE who supports net neutrality? The rules and people who support NN all support exceptions for emergency, life saving services. To suggest that anyone is ignoring that it’s "against net neutrality" is just being intellectually dishonest or severely uninformed on what net neutrality actually is.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Pigs...

They didn’t. They specifically signed an agreement with Verizon years before that the service provided to them would be different than the service provided to cat video watchers.

Please, show me, where Techdirt article claims that.

The rules and people who support NN all support exceptions for emergency, life saving services.

For those exceptions to be meaningful, they have to be limited to certain organisations (otherwise they would just create a more expensive tier, something NN specifically wants to avoid) and so they have to be requested – also because not all data transmission needs of FD are high priority. I did not find in Techdirt’s piece anything about FD requesting those special services, but if you did then please, tell me where.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Pigs...

Please, show me, where Techdirt article claims that.

It’s not in the TD article, but unlike you, I do a little research into things and get my facts from several different sources. Here’s the following quote from Verizon:

"Regardless of the plan emergency responders choose, we have a practice to remove data speed restrictions when contacted in emergency situations," Verizon’s statement said. "We have done that many times, including for emergency personnel responding to these tragic fires. In this situation, we should have lifted the speed restriction when our customer reached out to us.

So while I don’t know the specifics of the contract they signed, it’s obvious that this was the expectation, and Verizon even admitted to failing to hold up their end of it.

For those exceptions to be meaningful, they have to be limited to certain organisations

Yes, because only certain organizations need those exceptions, such police and fire departments, hospitals, emergency alert services, etc… Not seeing the point here.

otherwise they would just create a more expensive tier

What? This literally doesn’t make any sense. Why would a more expensive tier need to be created to put network management policies in place that say "this type of traffic from these organizations, gets priority over any other traffic"? It literally costs nothing to do that and is a common way of providing QoS.

and so they have to be requested

Yes, because not every organization provides emergency services. So?

also because not all data transmission needs of FD are high priority

Allow me to educate you on network technology. There are these wonderful things called routers and firewalls (among others) that can actually distinguish between cat video traffic and traffic that is needed for emergency services. It will look at things like source and destination IP addresses, ports, content of data packets, etc… just to name a few. It’s pretty easy to have the network determine what is priority and what isn’t automatically with some carefully designed rules.

I did not find in Techdirt’s piece anything about FD requesting those special services, but if you did then please, tell me where.

See my quote from Verizon above. They signed a contract with Verizon with assurances and expectations that their data would not be throttled in emergency situations.

Now that said, we could be talking about two different things here. There are certain dedicated emergency services that can be given priority if enough information about them is provided. But if we’re talking about just a basic internet connection for mobile responders, that changes things a bit.

They could still put rules in place that exclude those specific users/devices from throttling but they likely aren’t looking for specific traffic to identify emergency services, rather than a dedicated system for such services such as emergency alerting or lifeline services. That is not to say that it couldn’t be done, just that it probably isn’t.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Pigs...

That analogy doesn’t work when the pigs are trying to save other animals from burning to death.

Emergency services should be treated better, as their jobs are to protect/save others. This is why when an ambulance or fire truck comes down the road with its lights and siren on, people get out of the way.

Killercool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Pigs...

Well, this guy seems to be ignoring a simple fact in order to be offended:

It’s not the individual firefighters that are needing priority, it’s the fire department that needs priority.

In other words, when the FD goes home for the day, they get the same service as anyone else. But when they are on shift, their shit had better work.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Pigs...

I do live in California, unfortunately. For the most part I see people obeying the law, which states that you’re supposed to pull over if you see an emergency vehicle with lights and siren.

As opposed to Pennsylvania, which merely requires you to stay out of their way.

Fortunately, even the California law makes an exception for a divided highway.

Anyway, I’m not sure why you’re picking on California. I suspect most places have an equal amount of clueless. But I haven’t formally collected data and done a statistical analysis, so I have to admit that I’m just guessing, based on my admittedly limited knowledge of human nature.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Pigs...

That analogy doesn’t work when the pigs are trying to save other animals from burning to death.

Then they should do it with appropriate tools, not garden hose and watering can.

Ambulance and fire truck, and all the other emergency vehicles have special treatment when they turn on the lights and sirens – otherwise they should be treated as everybody else. Here FD did not request it, but expected it – and I really cannot see why.

Jeffrey Nonken (profile) says:

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/22/verizon_throttled_departments/

I’m fascinated by all the …uh, learned folks… in the El Reg forums who are saying things like “They should have negotiated a better deal with Verizon” and “they should contact Verizon just before they go into a situation like this and let them know they’ll be needing the bandwidth” and my favorite, “unlimited data isn’t unlimited bandwidth”.

David says:

Some policy

Verizon subsequently admitted that the company shouldn’t have throttled first responders anyway, as that was a violation of the company’s own policies.

See, this is where I have a lot of double takes. I am fine with "emergency services can apply for a special plan that is not getting throttled" (though it might be worth figuring out what causes that accumulation of data rates).

But I have a problem with "emergency services can apply for the same rates as everybody else but won’t be subjected to the same fraudulent throttling and extortion practices mentioned in fine print everyone else gets". Because the former is about saving lives, and the latter is about saving reputation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Frankly, an "IP based alarm system" that requires significantly more bandwidth than a teletype ticker has not exactly been designed smartly.

But what are you gonna do if the local telco convinced the government it no longer needs to provide copper lines or the regulated services, like dedicated alarm circuits, that use them? Verizon tried to get out of repairing Fire Island landlines by claiming wireless would be just as good.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Hey, uhhh...

No, it would not. Using car analogy – just like you cannot pay more road tax and buy yourself an emergency vehicle privilege, but still there are emergency vehicles. Same with net neutrality – “special services” are not available to average citizen, so you cannot just pay more to get them.

But I agree, Techdirt suggests that FD should be treated specially without applying for the “special services”.

Will B. says:

Re: Re: Hey, uhhh...

Buddy, we don’t agree, I typo’d.

Also, as has been pointed out in this threas umpteen times now, the FD did apply for special services, it was in their contract. Verizon fucked up. They even admitted they fucked up.

This article is, really, about how shittily they train their customer service reps, more than anything. Upsell, upsell, upsell, and don’t even double-check the customer’s current contract to make sure they’re getting what they could be getting, just double down on that sale.

NeghVar (profile) says:

I do not know of California’s laws, but in Ohio there is Section 2909.04(B)
(B) No person shall knowingly use any computer, computer system, computer network, telecommunications device, or other electronic device or system or the internet so as to disrupt, interrupt, or impair the functions of any police, fire, educational, commercial, or governmental operations.

(C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of disrupting public services, a felony of the fourth degree.

Could Verizon possibly be slapped with a 4th-degree felony? Especially since the public service warned them before that throttling could hinder response time.

And if the question comes up about the Ohio law stating “Person”
Corporate personhood: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood
Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burwell_v … tores,_Inc.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I think the big problem with holding ‘persons’, also known as corporations, accountable for criminal laws is who do you send to jail? The CEO, the president, other officers, the board of directors, the shareholders, managers, regional directors, state district directors, all of the above? I would vote for all of the above, but limit the shareholders part, unless they own large portions and are or represent an individual who has influence over company policy. Large portions might mean 5% or more.

Now this has happened, but not nearly enough, and too often the top people managed to point fingers and deny any ability to control their underlings. A sad failure in management, as well as the justice system.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Personally, I would look at whether they tried to influence corporate policy, then hold those who controlled those influence attempts liable under conspiracy theories. The government is good at accusing others with conspiracy, just not themselves, or favorite entities (for example banks and other ‘too big to fail’ type organizations).

But, that’s just me.

NeghVar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

An investigation leading back to the person who made the specific choice execute the throttling on the public service.
Say in the Union Carbide case. The CEO may have said to someone further down the chain of command to find a way to cut costs at the plant. That person decides to cut costs by reducing safety checks and proper maintenance of the plant. Despite the dangers, the plant manager follows through as do those below him. The employees at the plant, damned if you do. Damned if you don’t. The person who decided on what costs to cut made poor judgment which resulted in the homicide of many. The CEO’s trust in that person to make proper decisions was misplaced. So if the scenario was like this, then it would be debatable as to whether or not to charge the CEO.

NeghVar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

https://www.cnn.com/2018/03/27/us/schlitterbahn-waterpark-death-arrests/index.html
Also,
Though this involves a different country, the case of Union Carbide and the Bhopal disaster. India had a warrant for Warren Anderson’s, Union Carbide’s CEO at the time, arrest for multiple homicides. So responsibility would fall on the one who is ultimately in charge of the decision making. Multiple senior staff at the plant were also arrested and charged with homicide.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Once you’ve had some coffee, check the last paragraph yourself – Karl’s post suggests exception, but as a part of a normal service.
This is not how NN works. IMO to get exception you’d have to apply for one – otherwise FD cat video watchers would be given the same high priority as emergency communication. And then NN just limits, who can get higher priority. Buying normal data plan is not a “special services” request.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Oh I’m sure the higher up mucky mucks will lay the blame firmly upon some low life minimum wage worker who will be fired, put on the blacklist and will be denied unemployment benefits. And then these same folk will point their fingers at all the homeless people who need to learn personal responsibility.

/rant

carlb (profile) says:

it should work both ways

Gotta love private enterprise, but if it applies here it should apply equally everywhere. Taxpayer funds have been wasted responding to silliness like https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_New_York_Telephone_exchange_fire for far too long.

A more cost-effective alternative should be to stop dispatching public resources and leave extinguishing these fires to the highest bidder. From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_firefighting#Rome “Marcus Licinius Crassus was born into a wealthy Roman family around the year 115 BC, and acquired an enormous fortune through (in the words of Plutarch) “fire and rapine.” One of his most lucrative schemes took advantage of the fact that Rome had no fire department. Crassus filled this void by creating his own brigade—500 men strong—which rushed to burning buildings at the first cry of alarm. Upon arriving at the scene, however, the fire fighters did nothing while their employer bargained over the price of their services with the distressed property owner. If Crassus could not negotiate a satisfactory price, his men simply let the structure burn to the ground, after which he offered to purchase it for a fraction of its value.”

I’m certain that Verizon would be more than content with this level of service, if it were wrapped in a clever marketing campaign misbranding it as “unlimited”.

Can you hear me now?

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