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Relating to mobile Internet service access in an area subject to a declared state of disaster.
No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated
HB 1426 would prohibit a mobile Internet service provider from impairing or degrading lawful mobile Internet service access in an area subject to a declared state of disaster. This would expressly not prohibit a provider from prioritizing first responder Internet service access or a network service designated for use by emergency services personnel if there is network congestion in an area subject to such a disaster declaration.
This legislation is a solution in search of a problem. According to the statement of purpose, this legislation is intended to prevent an occurrence in Texas similar to one in California in which "firefighters responding to wildfires in California were having their mobile Internet service throttled." It is our understanding that industry has addressed these issues to avert the possibility of a repeat occurrence.
More importantly, this legislation would hamstring service providers by preventing them from managing their networks as they deem necessary in a disaster area. This is out of alignment with our limited government and free market principles, therefore we oppose HB 1426.