Telcoms lobbyists oppose ban on throttling firefighters' internet during wildfires

The CTIA is America's top telcoms lobbying organization, and they're trying to kill AB1699, a proposed California law that would ban carriers from throttling firefighters' internet access, as Verizon did in 2018, then lied about, then launched a charm offensive to defend.

The CTIA sent a letter to state lawmakers warning that the bill would result in "serious unintended consequences, including needless litigation."

The CTIA is the only organization that opposed the bill.

"California is a place where we have multiple disasters on a regular basis," Meston said. "We rely on our cell phones; we rely on Internet data to an extreme degree. When we go to an emergency incident, we need information about the incident action plan, photographs of what happens, mapping, who's available, [and] where they're located, and all these things now are done by cell phones."

The California Professional Firefighters group told legislators that firefighters "cannot afford the added danger—to the safety of the public as well as their own safety—of unnecessary interferences in the technology they rely on to do their jobs and keep civilians and themselves safe."

Wireless carriers fight ban on throttling firefighters during emergencies [Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica]