Google Voice vs. AT&T – The battle of the sex lines

by Guest on October 19, 2009

attgoogle-thumb-550x500-23483Once upon a time, there were two competing services that would help people talk to each other.  One of them was a corporate titan, large and powerful, able to buy just about anything that stood in its way.  This company had a history of poor customer service, and because they were one of the biggest in the land, there was no reason for them to change their practices.  As they saw it, customers were unlimited resources that you could squeeze money from whenever you needed to.  This company was named AT&T

One day, another company crossed into the land of telecommunications and saw an opportunity to provide the citizens of the land with a free service that would work as well, or better, than the existing service that they were getting.  This service was free, but only available to certain members in this land because this company felt it was important to thoroughly test new offerings before providing them to the general public.  This practice of offering free service had made this company well known and loved across the many regions of the internet.  This company was named Google, and the service was called Google Voice.

AT&T had been aware of Google, but didn’t feel threatened until AT&T felt that Google didn’t have to play by the same rules as AT&T.  One of the things that AT&T was upset about had to do with the rules dictated in the Communications act of 1934.  To paraphrase the act, there are some areas in the community, serviced by rural local carriers that have the ability to exorbitant termination rates to the long distance carriers (like AT&T), and then use deception and trickery to get customers to call their numbers. Offers of free adult chat and teleconferencing were presented to the rest of the nation and these rural carriers were able to charge a fee to the phone companies to connect to their lines.  The rural carriers would then split the extra income back to these “traffic pumpers.” AT&T had been forced to provide service to these rural carriers, but since these costs could be transferred straight through to their existing customers, AT&T wasn’t that upset with the situation.

A few weeks ago, AT&T became aware that the Google Voice service was able to block access to the numbers in the rural carrier community, and decided to bring this to the governing body in this land – the FCC.  After much lobbying persuasion, ATT&T convinced the FCC to investigate the invite only, open phone system that Google Voice provided.  The FCC issued a letterto Google, asking them to explain why they feel that they are above the Communications Act of 1934.

Over the next few days we are going to investigate this story so that you can better understand this situation.  We here at thetelecomblog.com will provide you with the information about the two companies, Google Voice and AT&T, to ensure that you have the facts to form your own opinion.

Is this Goliath v. Goliath, or is this more like comparing apples to oranges.

Stay tuned!

Written by: Jason Finnerty. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Identi.ca, or Friendfeed

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

mtension October 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm

I am a bit afraid of Google as well as AT&T. Google is this company that gets bigger everyday that no body seems to know much about. I wonder if one day we will be ready about this story reversed?

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