Well, it looks like today AT&T launched a direct attack against Google by filing a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In this letter, the telecom giant asks FCC to look into alleged violations by Google’s voice aggregation service, Google Voice. If you are wondering what this Google Voice is, it is a service that allows its users to connect all phone numbers to a common number and manage everything from calls to messages through a website. Google claims to have the upper hand over the traditional, and widely spread landline phone networks.
AT&T recently found out the Google is restricting access to highly populated areas, neglecting rural areas. In some of these areas, the service is even blocked. Telecommunications laws require phone operators to offer unrestricted access and, as far as the telecom operator is concerned, Google is violating this rule. The online search giant replied that since its service is not a traditional phone service, this rule does not apply to it.
AT&T also stated that Google’s practices are violating the net-neutrality principles already in effect. “By openly flouting the call blocking prohibition that applies to its competitors, Google is acting in a manner inconsistent with the spirit, if not the letter, of the FCC’s fourth principle contained in its Internet Policy Statement. Ironically, Google is also flouting the so-called ‘fifth principle of non-discrimination’ for which Google has so fervently advocated.” – Robert Quinn, AT&T’s senior vice president for federal regulatory affairs. Let’s just hope this doesn’t degenerate in a long and costly trial, like it always does!