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AT&T tries School Yard Tactics on Google

ATT FCC Google AT&T tries School Yard Tactics on Google

Remember back in the day when you were in elementary school and you told on someone?  The next day you ended up facing his or her best friend and that’s the same childish mentality that is driving the latest move by AT&T to retaliate for the media black eye that  Google recently dealt out to Apple.

In a not so surprising move, AT&T tried to throw Google under the school bus by sending a letter to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) alleging that the Google Voice app violates the federal call-blocking regulations and net neutrality principles and urged the FCC to investigate the matter.

Why isn’t this a huge surprise?  Because AT&T is ticked off that Google released proof that Apple did in fact reject the Google Voice app as they had previously denied in a formal response to a FCC inquiry.  [Apple Lied about Rejecting Google Voice]  Also Apple and AT&T were both required to submit responses, because the FCC wanted to know if AT&T had asked Apple to reject Google Voice.  A claim AT&T vehemently denies.

The problem is that the argument that Google Voice violates either of these is a ludicrous.

Google’s Washington telecom and media counsel,Richard Whitt, argued that the Google Voice service should not be regulated. “Google Voice’s goal is to provide consumers with free or low-cost access to as many advanced communications features as possible. In order to do this, Google Voice does restrict certain outbound calls from our Web platform to these high-priced destinations. But despite AT&T’s efforts to blur the distinctions between Google Voice and traditional phone service, there are many significant differences,” Whitt wrote, noting that Google Voice is a free software service and not intended to replace traditional phone service.

“AT&T is trying to make this about Google’s support for an open Internet, but the comparison just doesn’t fly,” Whitt wrote. “The FCC’s open Internet principles apply only to broadband carriers–not Web-based software applications. Even though the FCC does not have jurisdiction over software applications, AT&T apparently wants to use the regulatory process to undermine Web-based competition and innovation.”

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About the Author

Daniel Black is the President and CEO of MobiMadness, Inc. Over the last 4 decades Dan has been an IT Director, Project Manager, Firefighter, EMT, and Army Staff Sergeant (retired).

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