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AT&T exec continues attacking Google in FCC iPhone probe

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 15 Oct 2009 1:36 User comments (3)

AT&T exec continues attacking Google in FCC iPhone probe AT&T Senior Vice President Robert Quinn Jr. has sent a second letter to the FCC accusing Google of violating that agency's telephone provider and net neutrality rules. It follows a letter he sent last month in which he complained about certain rural numbers being blocked in Google Voice.
AT&T's letter writing campaign is a response to FCC interest in their role in the iPhone App Store approval process.

In his latest letter Quinn writes "Indeed, Google’s power to block calls – as well as its ability to abuse its market power in search and other services – dramatically underscores why the Commission cannot rationally exempt Google or any provider of Internet-based information services from any rules designed to preserve a “free and open Internet.""

While his characterization of Google's call blocking may be accurate, it still ignores the fact that it doesn't actually violate any FCC policy. That's because it doesn't prevent competitors from offering Google customers an alternative service.

AT&T, on the other hand, has been used their influence with Apple to block any iPhone app from streaming video across mobile broadband while offering their own video service over the very same connection.

Quinn also argues that AT&T is still subject to the standard rules for landline telephone providers because calls received through Google Voice still travel on the Publicly Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). However that really doesn't apply to Google since they're they consumer in that portion of the communication transaction, rather than the provider.

He goes on to claim the FCC has an obligation to assume regulatory oversight over Google so they can ensure the search giant doesn't sell user information or otherwise use it in an unethical manner.

But as with his other arguments this one is really just smoke and mirrors. The FCC doesn't need to get involved with what Google does with user data. That won't stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from stepping in.

Even the one potentially damaging point Quinn makes, about Google using their market share to promote their own political agenda, isn't an issue the FCC need concern themselves with. The real issue he's raising has to do with whether Google's search dominance constitutes a monopoly.

Whether it does and the potential legal implications which go along with it are clearly issues for DOJ investigators and the courts to decide.

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3 user comments

115.10.2009 3:05

AT&T, on the other hand, has been used their influence with Apple to block any iPhone app from streaming video across mobile broadband while offering their own video service over the very same connection.

Quinn also argues that AT&T is still subject to the standard rules for landline telephone providers because calls received through Google Voice still travel on the Publicly Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). However that really doesn't apply to Google since they're they consumer in that portion of the communication transaction, rather than the provider.

All there bases now are belong to us. You have no chance survive Make your time

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 15 Oct 2009 @ 3:07

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215.10.2009 9:28

I guess these articles don't make it past an editor before posting. I've been noticing these types of errors in quite a few articles lately.

315.10.2009 12:52

I would also like to add my displeasure concerning the readability of this article.

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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