Verizon Employee of the Month, Ajit Pai, who is also the director of the Federal Communications Commission, is doing good work (for Verizon) these days, what with killing Net Neutrality regulations and whatnot.
Today’s LATimes shows us another way Pai has earned his monthly bonus of the best parking spot in the company’s lot:
A crew of firefighters from Silicon Valley had arrived in Lake County to help battle the largest blaze in California history when suddenly their mobile internet service slowed to a crawl.
Officials coordinating the firefighting effort inside the Santa Clara County Fire Department’s command vehicle faced email delays and challenges updating web-based documents with critical information about deployment, Capt. Bill Murphy said.
They quickly learned that their provider, Verizon Wireless, had throttled down the department’s connection to 1/200 or less than previous speeds because the agency had exceeded its data plan limit.
The only way to get the firefighters back up to speed, a Verizon representative said, was for fire officials to buy a more expensive plan. And so they did.
This story, Dear Readers, took placed during the freakin’ Mendocino Complex fire, which has destroyed more than 150 homes and killed one firefighter. We are not saying that Ajit Pai and Verizon killed a firefighter and let 150 homes burn to the ground because they throttled the service of the firefighters. But we are saying that if the Net Neutrality Rules were still in effect, throttling would not have happened.
The good news for Verizon is that Ajit Pai is a windfall profit maker for them, what with getting a major customer to upgrade their plan!
The bad news is that Santa Clara County has added this story as an addendum to a federal lawsuit filed Monday by 21 states — including California — and the District of Columbia seeking to overturn the Federal Communications Commission’s repeal of net neutrality rules.
And that is our example of how silly things like regulations save lives and property.