Texas Bill Aims to Stop Companies from "Throttling" Internet Service during Disasters

Posted by Megalith 4:15 PM (CST)

Saturday February 09, 2019

Texas legislators have proposed new legislation that would make it illegal for telecommunications companies to throttle data in disaster areas, but while HB 1426 seems like a sensible idea in theory, some argue it would make things worse for everyone: without the throttling in place, networks could become dangerously congested. Of course, there’s a counterpoint to that, in that ISPs should be responsible for establishing the proper capacity.

It comes after firefighters in California had their data plans "throttled" by Verizon during wildfires there. "The fact that this is now bubbling up at the state level is a good sign," said Evan Greer, deputy director of Fight for the Future, a group that wants net neutrality reinstated. "But in reality, we need the FCC to actually do its job and ensure that these companies aren’t acting in ways that put the public in danger." That's a sentiment shared by former FCC Commissioner Gigi Sohn, who recently told The Hill the FCC had "abdicated" its public safety role.