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Verizon Won't Restrict Emergency Workers' Data as Hurricane Lane Bears Down on Hawaii

Verizon Wireless announced on Friday that it would offer a new unlimited data plan to emergency workers.

The news followed a public outcry this week over Verizon's "throttling" of data for fire crews battling Northern California's Mendocino Complex Fire. In an earlier statement, Verizon called the issue a "customer support mistake," noting that the company has "a practice to remove data speed restrictions when contacted in emergency situations." Verizon also said that the data throttling issue had "nothing to do with net neutrality."

In Friday's announcement, Verizon Senior Vice President Mike Maiorana said the company had removed all speed restrictions for first responders fighting fires on the West Coast as well as those facing Hurricane Lane in Hawaii. Maiorana added that, "in the event of another disaster, Verizon will lift restrictions on public safety customers, providing full network access."

Though Hurricane Lane was downgraded on Friday to a Category 2 storm, Hawaii still faces heavy rains, high-speed winds, and the threat of flooding.