AT&T claims Google violates net neutrality with Voice app

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AT&T claims Google violates net neutrality with Voice app

New letter reverses roles.

AT&T has sent a letter to the FCC team investigating the blocking of Google’s Voice application by the Apple App Store, in which it claims the search giant is violating net neutrality.

The letter says that Google Voice is violating the rules because it blocks access to a few local carriers because of excessive prices to connect to those regions.

In 2007 AT&T and others tried similar blocking techniques but were told they were illegal by the FCC.

“According to Google, non-discrimination ensures that a provider “cannot block fair access” to another provider. But that is exactly what Google is doing when it blocks calls that Google Voice customers make to telephone numbers associated with certain local exchange carriers,” the letter said.

The letter is incendiary in that Google is one of the biggest supporters of net neutrality rules currently being considered by the FCC, while AT&T has been lobbying against the adoption of net neutrality rules.

The letter drew a quick response from Google with a blog posting by Richard Whitt, Google’s Washington telecom and media counsel.

“AT&T is trying to make this about Google's support for an open Internet, but the comparison just doesn't fly,” he wrote.

“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.”

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