Washington (August 31, 2018) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (CA-18) today sent a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) demanding an explanation for reports that Verizon throttled the Santa Clara County Fire Department’s ‘unlimited’ data plan during the Mendocino Complex Fire. In their letter, the lawmakers ask what steps the Commission is taking to address such critical threats to public safety in the wake its decision to repeal strong net neutrality rules.


“The FCC continues to maintain a Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, which has unique expertise in public safety and a duty to ensure our communications systems, including wireless service, do not let us down when we need them most, whether during a forest fire, hurricane, or any other type of natural or human caused disaster,” write Senator Markey and Congresswoman Eshoo in their letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “Our letter does not contravene the FTC’s responsibility to investigate whether Verizon’s actions constitute an ‘unfair or deceptive practice.’ We believe that both agencies must use all of the tools available under their respective jurisdictions to investigate this public safety matter. To do nothing is unacceptable.”  


A copy of the letter can be found HERE.


Earlier this week, Senator Markey and Congresswoman Eshoo led more than a hundred members of Congress in an amicus brief challenging the FCC’s December 2017 decision to repeal net neutrality rules. Senator Markey is a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and Rep. Eshoo is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.