While Santa Clara County firefighters were fighting some of the biggest forest fires in America’s history, Verizon was throttling their internet speeds, preventing firefighters from providing crisis response and emergency services to those in need.

Firefighters and other first responders deserve access to the fastest speeds on the internet, especially in times of crisis. Because when emergency personnel can’t communicate quickly and clearly, it puts people’s lives at risk. With strong net neutrality protections in place, what Verizon did could’ve been prevented. But since FCC Chairman (and former Verizon lawyer) Ajit Pai’s repeal, all the fire department could do was pay the company more money to get service restored.

The FCC has the authority to ensure that first responders can communicate reliably and effectively, particularly in emergencies. But the agency can’t fulfill this responsibility if it is not fully staffed. Gigi Sohn has always worked to ensure police and first responders have access to the communications networks they need to be able to do their jobs. 

If you are a firefighter, EMT or other first responders, please sign this open letter calling on the Senate to swiftly confirm Gigi Sohn to the FCC so they can restore net neutrality and support first responders.


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Read the Letter

Dear Legislators,

We are first responders who support confirming Gigi Sohn as commissioner to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We believe she will be a powerful advocate for ensuring we are able to effectively do our work to ensure the safety of our communities.

The FCC is responsible for ensuring that first responders can communicate reliably and effectively, particularly in emergencies. Every day we rely on a range of communications services that require an open Internet to help people during emergency situations ranging from automobile accidents to natural disasters.

Ms. Sohn has been supportive of policies that ensure that police and first responders have access to the communications networks, and has worked to implement policies like Next-Generation 911 standards and text-to-911.

She has also been a fierce advocate for net neutrality and open internet protections. Access to reliable, high-quality broadband is essential for our work. We routinely place ourselves in dangerous situations to assist others and save lives. When the Federal Communications Commission repealed net neutrality rules and other key protections in December 2017, it put the communication services we rely on to do our jobs in danger of being arbitrarily slowed, blocked, or otherwise degraded by Internet service providers.

We join others who have endorsed Ms. Sohn, including three former Chiefs of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, NENA: the 911 Association, and hundreds of organizations, and call on you to swiftly confirm her to the FCC.


[Your Name Here]

What People are Saying

Over a thousand first responders have signed this open letter to Congress, urging our lawmakers to listen to the voices of the people and overturn the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. Here are just a few comments from men and women whose lives are literally being put at risk by the destruction of net neutrality: