When a California fire department spoke out this week about getting “throttled” by a wireless carrier, right or wrong the issue of throttling joined the public discussion.

The Santa Clara Fire Department complained of being throttled by Verizon Wireless for going over its monthly allotment of 22 gigabytes, using the phone to coordinate and keep track of different personnel and fire trucks as they were fighting a wildfire. Verizon has since said it made a customer service error, should have lifted the throttling for the emergency situation and has now removed all data restrictions for first responders on the West Coast.

But what about you, dear consumer? You don’t have the emergency card to play, just the monthly agreement with Verizon and AT&T that says you may get throttled if you go over 22 gigabytes.

We have two simple solutions and a suggestion:

• Switch carriers: T-Mobile and Sprint both say their throttling begins at a more generous 50 GBs of data.

• Use Wi-Fi more often: When at home and work, switch to Wi-Fi immediately and you jump off the wireless network, thus, you probably won’t meet your monthly data caps.

But, ahem, Verizon, how about being a good corporate citizen? Stop slowing down service on your paying subscribers. Yes, throttling may save you a few dollars, but it certainly won’t win you any friends –lawmakers have already called for hearings on the issue.

If T-Mobile and Sprint can make it a matter of business policy to not throttle at 22 GBs, certainly Verizon, the company that reaped over $125 billion in 2017 revenues, can afford to be nicer to their customers.

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