• AT&T Goes After Google Again

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    While most iPhone users were too distracted by their long-awaited MMS service on Friday to even notice, AT&T went after Google once again yesterday.

    In a letter to the FCC, AT&T accused Google of violating the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules.
    Apple asked federal regulators to stop Google Inc.ís voice application from "improperly" blocking telephone calls to some rural areas.

    Saying that the FCC should ďorder Google to play by the same rules as its competitors,Ē AT&T claimed that Google saves substantial sums of money by blocking calls - a practice traditional carriers are not prohibited to employ.

    According to the report by Reuters:
    The FCC in 2007 prohibited traditional carriers from blocking calls because it said the practice might degrade the reliability of telecommunications networks.
    The letter by AT&T comes as the FCC continues investigating why Apple didnít approve the Google Voice app for the iPhone, which uses AT&T as its sole wireless carrier in the US. Apple, however, says itís "still considering the application."

    Only hours after the complaint was filed by AT&T in a highly detailed, nuanced, border-line nitpicky fashion, Google's legal counsel responded to the accusations.

    In a blog entry on Friday, Google acknowledged that Google Voice restricts some calls to those areas but said it isn't bound by the laws that force traditional carriers to connect those calls. Google Voice isn't intended to be a replacement for traditional phone service and requires a wired or wireless line from an operator
    With the recent war of words that has taken place between these warring factions, it has become increasingly difficult to separate the serious from the supercilious. The discerning insight, however, at Free Press - a group that has pushed for "stronger net neutrality protections" - told Reuters that the rules AT&T alludes to "apply only to Internet access providers and not to applications such as Google Voice."

    AT&T's letter "appears to be a political stunt to distract attention from the important work the FCC has begun on Network Neutrality," Free Press said in a statement.
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