Public Safety and Legal Implications of Bandwidth Throttling

Hanscom, Donald H., Jr.

The effectiveness of data communication connectivity during high usage times, such as during emergency events when public safety agencies are responding and community members are calling for help, is left up to each public safety agency’s relationship with its respective data carrier. It is their responsibility to contact a representative from the carrier to request an increase in data usage. This doesn’t always work as intended, as illustrated during the Mendocino Wildfire. While many public safety agencies are trained for and exercise to respond effectively to emergencies, emergency events can be unpredictable.

This paper explores the public safety and legal implications of bandwidth throttling during disasters and considerations for public safety agencies.

Public Safety and Legal Implications of Bandwidth Throttling