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California lawmakers exploring what's next after Verizon slowed firefighter data

The Santa Clara County Fire Department says in a lawsuit that Verizon slowed its internet communications at a Northern California wildfire command center three weeks ago. Now lawmakers are trying to figure out what's next.

On Friday, a California general assembly committee questioned firefighters and date providers about what happened. The Santa Clara County Fire Department says in a lawsuit that Verizon slowed its internet communications at a Northern California wildfire command center three weeks ago.

Verizon Senior Vice President Mike Maiorana says the service restrictions were removed as of Thursday and include Hawaii, where emergency crews are rescuing people Friday from areas flooded by Hurricane Lane.

Verizon representatives explained during the hearing that the policy will also be rolled out in the near future and apply to first responders during emergency situations nationwide.

Internet data is important to firefighters during emergency situations for a number of reasons, said Santa Clara County Fire Chief Tony Bowden, including issuing evacuation notices to the public.

Assemblymember Marc Levine said he’ll consider introducing legislation to make sure that data throttling doesn’t happen to first responders again.

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