Texas Bill Would Make It Illegal For Verizon and Any Other Wireless Provider to Throttle Disaster Zones

  • Source: Gizmodo.com
  • Published: 02/12/2019 12:00 AM

Legislators in Texas are mulling a bill that would make illegal to “impair or degrade” mobile data in any declared disaster zone, in an apparent response to telecom giant Verizon’s decision last year to tell California firefighters busy tackling the deadly Mendocino Complex fire they needed to upgrade their plan or continue to suffer slow speeds. A version of the bill, which has been brought before the Texas House of Representatives, amends Texas law to state, “A mobile Internet service provider may not impair or degrade lawful mobile Internet service access in an area subject to a declared state of disaster.” It does not revise the law to prevent throttling under any other scenarios, including for emergency personnel outside declared disaster zones. Per KUT News, it’s one of more than 100 state bills aimed at protecting internet access introduced since the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission and its telecom-friendly chief Ajit Pai gutted Barack Obama-era net neutrality rules in a 2017 vote.


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