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The company throttled the department's service as they were still battling the Mendocino Complex Fire because it had reached its data limit for the month. It added that it has a policy of removing data speed restrictions in emergency situations.

Previously, Verizon said full-service should have immediately been restored when the fire department told them they were responding to a public emergency.

Some say the issue highlights concerns of net-neutrality supporters, that allowing companies to manipulate their networks can have adverse, unexpected consequences.

"By implementing net neutrality, SB 822 will help prevent internet service providers from throttling, thereby preventing data speeds to be manipulated and, in turn, avoid crippling, or worse, deadly outcomes", said the CPF in a statement on Friday.

"In supporting first responders in the Mendocino fire, we didn't live up to our own promise of service", he said in a statement. Verizon acknowledged it had "made a mistake" and explained that the slowdowns occurred because the fire department had used up too much data, despite being subscribed to an unlimited data plan.

In the wake of a customer-service backlash involving California firefighters, Verizon is apologizing for slowing down the data speeds of first-responders - and says it will begin offering emergency workers a new unlimited data plan to avoid future mishaps.

Verizon spokeswoman Heidi Flato called the throttling a "mistake" and said that the data restrictions should have been lifted at the fire department's request.

The data restrictions were not lifted until the SCCFD paid Verizon for an upgraded data plan at double the cost of the original plan, emails included in the court documents show.

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Limon referenced the Thomas Fire, which burned over 280,000 acres in her district in December 2017.

California lawmakers are considering a bill that would require internet companies to restore net neutrality in California, requiring equal data access to all customers.

Williams' rebuke of Verizon and the Republican-controlled FCC'snet neutrality repeal came just a day after the Santa Clara County Fire Chief Anthony Bowdenaccused Verizon of throttling in a court filing this week.

The fire chief said the incident with Verizon highlighted the importance of ensuring emergency responders have access to quick data that could prove lifesaving.

Santa Clara County Fire Capt. Bill Murphy told CNN that the department's connection speed dropped to what you would expect from a dial-up service, making simple tasks like sending an email or updating a Google document nearly impossible. We are reviewing the situation and will fix any issues going forward, ' the statement added. "For that, we are truly sorry".

State legislators are asking for a response from the Verizon CEO on a series of questions including, how many times, where and when, they have throttled the data technology of first responders during disasters. Verizon said it will reveal more in an announcement next week. "We stand united and will work together to ensure this unsafe practice of throttling first responders will never happen again here in the Golden State".

The mobile command center described in the declaration, known as "OES Incident Support Unit 5262", was responsible for coordinating all the local government resources deployed to the Mendocino Complex Fire, Bowden wrote.


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