- A YouTuber combined one of Verizon’s new Super Bowl ads honouring firefighters with news headlines from last year when the Santa Clara County Fire Department in California sued Verizon for throttling its data speeds during a natural disaster.
- Santa Clara County’s fire chief submitted emails and evidence last year showing how Verizon had slowed the fire department’s “unlimited” data plan to near-unusable speeds during a handful of fire emergencies, which “severely interfered” with the department’s ability to function properly.
Verizon released a pair of commercials during the Super Bowl to honour the men and women fighting wildfires around the country.
While the ads demonstrate the importance of communication services during times of emergency, the reality is that Verizon last year slowed down communications at the Santa Clara County Fire Department as wildfires raged around California.
Verizon throttled, or slowed down, the fire department’s communications to 1/200th of the normal speeds, according to court documents, despite the fire department having paid for one of the company’s “unlimited” data plans.
The fire department emailed Verizon at the time asking it to end the throttling, but Verizon instead suggested the department upgrade to a bigger data plan that cost twice as much. (Verizon eventually apologised for this, and now says it will provide “full network access” to first responders during emergencies. A Verizon spokesperson also told Business Insider over the phone that what happened in Santa Clara was a “one-time, isolated incident.”)
In response to Verizon’s Super Bowl ads, a YouTuber by the name of MememasterNate took one of Verizon’s ads and combined it with news headlines from last summer about Verizon’s fire department throttling. You can check it out below.