AT&T, according to the WSJ, has asked the FCC to investigate Google Voice for violating federal call-blocking rules. Basically, Google isn't letting Google Voice users connect to pricy adult chat lines and conference services. (The nerve!)
Slapped around by the FCC a couple of years ago on the same charges, AT&T wants Google to get a taste of that medicine, and likely wants to throw some of the heat they caught over the whole Apple rejection/still-studying Google Voice debacle right back Google's way.
Google's blog responds thusly:
AT&T is trying to make this about Google's support for an open Internet, but the comparison just doesn't fly. The FCC's open Internet principles apply only to the behavior of broadband carriers -- not the creators of Web-based software applications. Even though the FCC does not have jurisdiction over how software applications function, AT&T apparently wants to use the regulatory process to undermine Web-based competition and innovation.
Ah, new technology and the laws that trail far back behind it. Google may be technically right in that they're something new and different than what the law was originally designed to govern. Clearly the spirit of openness -- which Google pays enormous lip-service to when it suits them -- is what's import