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Thread: Verizon throttles CA wildland firefighter's

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    Default Verizon throttles CA wildland firefighter's

    These are the same cartels that want to take over communications for public safety. Im wondering if ATT will try the same scam when firstnet goes live. We realize your in the middle of a natural disaster but you've used up all of your high speed data, if you'd like more we would be happy to sell you some.

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/8/21/1...tled-wildfires
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    SCCFD owns some of this, too.

    Prziborowski expressed concern about the throttling in an email to Buss. "Before I give you my approval to do the $2.00 a month upgrade, the bigger question is why our public safety data usage is getting throttled down?" Prziborowski wrote. "Our understanding from Eric Prosser, our former Information Technology Officer, was that he had received approval from Verizon that public safety should never be gated down because of our critical infrastructure need for these devices."

    While fire department personnel thought they were already paying for "truly" unlimited data, Verizon said they weren't.

    "The short of it is, public safety customers have access to plans that do not have data throughput limitations," Buss told Prziborowski. "However, the current plan set for all of SCCFD's lines does have data throttling limitations. We will need to talk about making some plan changes to all lines or a selection of lines to address the data throttling limitation of the current plan."

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/...alif-wildfire/
    They were on the wrong plan. It's easy to blame VZ and net neutrality and Trump and everything else. But either SCCFD cheaped out or they did not understand the plan they purchased. Look at the weasel words in that first paragraph: "Our understanding...was that" -- total weasel. Ultimately, SCCFD is responsible for ensuring the equipment and services they need to perform their functions are in place. You can't place that responsibility on VZ. How is VZ supposed to know if a given dongle is in a response vehicle or an administrative role?

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    The data plan/service they purchased was under a state contract. Verizon did the same thing to state contract customers here.
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    The same is happeing in Canada.

    In my opinion unlimited is unlimited. If a plan is offered as unlimited then there should be no throttling period. The same should apply to any service home or wireless. I take this as false advertising or at the very least misleading. If it is a legit offer then the details should be in clear language in the contract not buried somewhere.

    There is nothing stopping them from saying In plan X you get 4 gig at 500bps, then after 4 gig you get 2 gig at 100bps and after that all data will be at 25bps.

    I have seen on a local system the data throttled to less than 20bytes per second causing the device to constantly try and reestablish communications with the data source. I feel ripped off because I am being ripped off.

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    Is anyone REALLY surprised here?

    Everyone was in such a hurry to dump their RD-LAP and in-house data systems and move to broadband provided by cellular companies, then they cry when they have no control over the system.

    Last I checked, fire responses have been happening for hundreds of years, long before broadband. For this department to be that reliant on broadband data that it would be even possible for it to "hinder" their response is just a cop-out in my opinion.

    This is a prime example of over-reliance on these systems which should NOT be relied upon in an emergency situation to begin with. Caveat emptor.

    What are they really using it for? Sending back photos and facebook pictures, surfing the internet while bored out on the firelines? An OCCASIONAL map being sent back to a command center with an update?

    Really... I'm not buying this.

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    I see no mention of alternative networks in the article. Shouldn't they have a VSAT for when there is no infrastructure ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Notarola View Post
    The same is happeing in Canada.

    In my opinion unlimited is unlimited. If a plan is offered as unlimited then there should be no throttling period. The same should apply to any service home or wireless. I take this as false advertising or at the very least misleading. If it is a legit offer then the details should be in clear language in the contract not buried somewhere.

    There is nothing stopping them from saying In plan X you get 4 gig at 500bps, then after 4 gig you get 2 gig at 100bps and after that all data will be at 25bps.

    I have seen on a local system the data throttled to less than 20bytes per second causing the device to constantly try and reestablish communications with the data source. I feel ripped off because I am being ripped off.
    Unlimited is not unlimited though. Such bullshit. Especially in Canada, we get raped for data cost.

    Three big vendors, and two of them share their infrastructure depending on which side of the country you are on.

    Ultimately we get raped twice, once for the absolutely shitty network speeds, then raped for the privilege of using those shitty speeds.


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    Quote Originally Posted by d119 View Post
    An OCCASIONAL map being sent back to a command center with an update?

    Really... I'm not buying this.
    As someone who just implemented a countywide CAD and RMS system that relies heavily on mobile data, RD-LAP would cause modern CAD and RMS to be utterly useless. My mobile client for both CAD and RMS are heavy hitter HTML 5 based web applications with constant ODBC connections back to our servers. In some of our response areas being rural, LTE coverage (even the almighty Verizon) is poor and map data, while cached locally on the MCT itself, slows to a crawl. Good luck writing a report, MFR (mobile field reporting) goes into an offline mode and won't validate anything. It isn't 4K video, but the average patrol car uses around 250-500MB a day pushing data back and forth to our servers, so much so that we've had scale up our mobile data server and provide additional bandwidth for the traffic. This doesn't account for body cam uploads, and all the other crap they do on the street.

    Modern systems like ours are heavily graphics based, and users want things like body cam video and security camera video interfaces turned up so they can see everything from the field,attach mug shots and video clips to reports, etc. Fire side users want to access Firehouse Cloud RMS and ImageTrend, which our state provides, and this consumes quite a bit of data. Again, there is a legitimate need for broadband data in public safety, we're not running around with KDT4000s and 9600baud RF modems these days.

    Every agency needs to ensure their broadband provider can meet the requirements of their intended use including availability. FirstNet is supposed to answer this, but I find it troubling that in a major metro area, it's signal is feeble and non-existent, so system administrators need to test LTE the same way would test any other vendor for performance and go through any RFP response under a microscope before signing.
    Your streaming makes me AES-256. Keep it up and you'll soon have nothing to listen to.

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    Have to agree with MTS2000DES, but it's also a problem that many in today's world most of the command staff and EMA planners don't differentiate between what can be done when mobile and what can be done in the office / Operation Center.

    Fiber for PD.PNG

    Our dependence on Commercial infrastructure (cellular) should also be a concern regardless what label (FirstNet) we place on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS2000DES View Post
    As someone who just implemented a countywide CAD and RMS system that relies heavily on mobile data, RD-LAP would cause modern CAD and RMS to be utterly useless.
    I hope your LTE modems are properly secured:

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/0...gateway_snafu/


    On the original topic, my own experience in SAR is that when someone involved (usually the lost party) runs out of pre-pay on a phone during an incident the carriers bend over backwards to immediately top up the account to help out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astro Spectra View Post
    I hope your LTE modems are properly secured:

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/0...gateway_snafu/
    We use a combo of air cards in the Toughbooks themselves, some of our agencies use Cradlepoints. Cradlepoints are locked down. All of our traffic over LTE is via a robust VPN solution. All CJIS compliant.
    Your streaming makes me AES-256. Keep it up and you'll soon have nothing to listen to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTS2000DES View Post
    As someone who just implemented a countywide CAD and RMS system...
    Why does that patrol car video have to be pushed over cellular? Up here, cars have cameras to the front, rear, inside and both sides. That video is only uploaded via wifi when the cars pull into a station. Cellular data is strictly for CAD stuff. Mobile Field Reporting can also be cached on the device and fed via WiFi - reports don't need to be immediate real time, and even still they're essentially just text put into a fancy GUI anyway.

    I'm not a PS user, but honestly it is ridiculous to suggest Fire/EMS/Police are so tied to broadband data that if they loose connectivity they can't do their jobs. I know that isn't what you're saying here, but it seems that there's way too much over-reliance on data these days.

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    The reality is that data is more and more relevant every day. Treat it like the next fad if you want, but it's coming. My agency is going through a CAD upgrade to a version that will allow "attachments" to events, addresses, etc., and the attachments can be text, audio, video, photos, name your poison. Head honchos are going bananas over how they're going to regulate this and how it will be handled legally, to the point where they're asking for the feature to be disabled until they can figure out what to do with it. It's not so much the data throughput - the CAD system has functions in place to make data use efficient - it's more a concern over what liabilities there are and for whom, when Officer Somebody takes a photo of a crime scene and it gets stored as part of the event record.

    As for throughput, the current version of our CAD system has an app which makes your smartphone or tablet into a de facto MDT. I've yet to see one even in heavy use break 500MB per month in data usage. I tend to use mine relatively often and I'm frequently sub-100MB for the month.

    But "big data" is going to be important to public safety very fast. I don't know if the guy is on here, but I know of a tech who helped deploy a box of tech on a mountain a few weeks ago to support the wildfires in BC. That thing had, besides a couple of "mobile" repeater sites, a weather station, at least two cameras (I saw still pics but I think they could take video too), and a cellular connection and possibly sat too. Viper knows what I'm talking about - it was discussed on RR for a bit (critique it all you want, but the site is useful sometimes). If it was streaming video, that would be a big chunk of data there, and it would be vital to the fire operations in that area. Same thing with video from helicopters on a campaign fire, but of course they would be more likely to use a MW downlink than cellular (unless they were a good distance away, I guess). And there's the clichéd scenarios like the police being able to see security footage on their MDT from the bank robbery they're going to, or the doc at the hospital watching the ECG and other telemetry of the patient in the helicopter coming to his ER. Hell, I've known of flight docs who have taken video of the LifePak screen with their iPhones and sent it to the emerg. Sometimes, it's not good enough to wait until the unit is back at the base to let the wifi upload all the data to the public safety cloud. Yeah, dash cameras, that's probably sufficient there, but there are a lot of ways that live data right now is extremely useful. Even a drone flyby of a car crash can tell you countless things for all elements of the public safety sphere - mechanism of injury for medics, location of any thrown/wandered-off occupants for fire and medics, fluid/plume path for fire, general scene survey for police/crash analysis, etc.

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    We are kind of lucky in Alberta. Most of this province has pretty decent cell service. If an area doesn’t, usually a 30m tower with a yagi and a BDA will give you adequate service.

    That ‘portable’ repeater beeperboy was talking about is interesting. Way more tech than I expected.

    Interesting concept of having a cell modem and microwave LAN/WAN capability. It is they way the world is going. Connected all the time and every where.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CQDX View Post
    Why does that patrol car video have to be pushed over cellular? Up here, cars have cameras to the front, rear, inside and both sides. .
    Some agencies can view this data live in their dispatch centers. Dispatchers can keep an eye on things and it also adds a level of safety.
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    It's all well and good until the infrastructure goes down. The current cellular providers are not nearly robust enough for SHTF scenarios. Ask the citizens of Puerto Rico who got POWER mostly restored after NINE MONTHS in the dark...
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    Quote Originally Posted by CQDX View Post
    Why does that patrol car video have to be pushed over cellular? Up here, cars have cameras to the front, rear, inside and both sides. That video is only uploaded via wifi when the cars pull into a station. Cellular data is strictly for CAD stuff. Mobile Field Reporting can also be cached on the device and fed via WiFi - reports don't need to be immediate real time, and even still they're essentially just text put into a fancy GUI anyway.
    None of this is reality for today's large agencies. Reports need to be sent when they are written. Telling officers to go to WiFi hot spots equates to more time on the job which equates to overtime which means costs. CAD mapping uses a live connection to our GIS data, which is intensive and updated daily. Not sure what your CAD experience is, but having just went through deploying mobiles (from a legacy CAD that had very limited access), and seeing the real use of mobile data, your model doesn't hold water on a modern system like ours.
    Quote Originally Posted by CQDX View Post
    Mobile Field Reporting can also be cached on the device and fed via WiFi - reports don't need to be immediate real time, and even still they're essentially just text put into a fancy GUI anyway.
    Reports on our system are entered into an SQL database with attachments, including video, audio, JPGs, anything you can send in an email can be uploaded. hi-res video from a good camera system means GB not MB. It's 2018 not 1998. Again, having a patrol officer wait around to use a WiFi hotspot is counterproductive in a modern public safety environment.
    Quote Originally Posted by CQDX View Post
    I'm not a PS user, but honestly it is ridiculous to suggest Fire/EMS/Police are so tied to broadband data that if they loose connectivity they can't do their jobs.
    Their roles are changing. The public expects law enforcement to be able to operate at the same level as private industry. A pizza delivery company can deliver a pizza to you anywhere in North America but yet 911 can't find you in a major metro area. Tell me again we don't need broadband data and modernized systems. If the expectation is for public safety to provide the same level of service that private industry does, it takes the same investment in technology and the right people managing it to make that happen.
    Your streaming makes me AES-256. Keep it up and you'll soon have nothing to listen to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 120Comm View Post
    As for throughput, the current version of our CAD system has an app which makes your smartphone or tablet into a de facto MDT. I've yet to see one even in heavy use break 500MB per month in data usage. I tend to use mine relatively often and I'm frequently sub-100MB for the month.
    I've deployed our CAD vendors' mobile app on around 400 devices and counting. The demand for this app is such that I've had to get another FTE to assist with training and deployment. Working on getting our county IS to use their existing MDM to roll it out but several of our agencies aren't using county managed devices so this presents a problem. I'll say this, users want this like a drug fiend. Being able to not just get CAD calls, but message and run NCIC inquiries (our app has a license scanner and all an officer has to do is scan a DL QR or bar code and they get instant returns), and even view reports in RMS (soon to be able to WRITE reports though not sure how useful that would be writing a narrative on an iphone!) has meant quite a bit of traffic coming into the MDS, so much that we've had to partition more bandwidth.

    Remember too that the public expects law enforcement to be able to do things like work crimes on social media sites. Having tools at the patrol level to deal with this in the field is not too far off. This is our modern, IOT society and we have to evolve to answer the call. At my center we now support Text 2 911 and soon will accept MMS. There is a whole other animal dealing with this from a records management perspective, data storage wise. The public expects it, and those of you who say this isn't important, if you're in the business, you will soon be dealing with the need for big data like it or not.
    Your streaming makes me AES-256. Keep it up and you'll soon have nothing to listen to.

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    It's coming to the UK too. :eyeroll:
    Although the Emergency Services Network (ESN) is a typical government implementation, overdue and over budget.

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    Sunshine is the best disinfectant. All this data usage is going to be creating a lot of public records LOL

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    Posted in a recent Keller and Heckman LLP's Telecom Business Alert:

    CA Bill Seeks to Prohibit Throttling During Emergencies

    The California Senate Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Communications will consider Assembly Bill 1699 this week, which was recently amended to prohibit mobile internet service providers from degrading, for at least 48 hours, the lawful internet traffic of first response agencies during an emergency. During the 2018 Mendocino Complex fire, the Santa Clara Fire Department's data services were throttled by Verizon, which impacted its ability to provide emergency services.
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    That's why everyone needs a dedicated network. How will this work when the country does to LTE 5g? Are we going to have to buy the provider to guarantee no shenanigans?
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