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AT&T Tells Google, “Don’t Be Evil”



Old Cell PhoneAfter getting the Google Voice App blocked on the iPhone and the FCC to scrutinize Google Voice, you’d think AT&T could sit back and rest assured. But not so. Yesterday, they fired another volley in their war against the Internet-based telephony service with a 13-page letter to the FCC.

It’s like they read the comment section of the Google Public Policy blog post about all this the other day. Their letter reflects some of the anti-Google sentiments there—especially the undercurrent of “Why are you stifling competition, Google?”:

Of course, as a company whose motto is “don’t be evil,” Google should have no objection to abiding by the Internet Policy Statement and other net neutrality principles it advocates with respect to Google Voice and all of the Internet-based services, applications and content that it offers. And as an agency committed to “preserving a free and open Internet,” the Commission should show no hesitation in ensuring its Internet principles are applied evenhandedly to the “network providers, application and service providers, and content providers” – including Google – who are expressly subject to them today.

As the Wall Street Journal aptly reported, however, the call blocking incident with Google Voice has exposed Google’s true agenda for adulterating the Internet Policy Statement: “The Internet giant wants cumbersome [net neutrality] rules applied to everyone—except Google.” In other words, Google wants the Commission to rig the game in its favor by rewriting the Commission’s broadband principles to cover only broadband Internet access providers, while giving Google a free pass to discriminate against whatever calls, websites, applications or content it pleases.

Don’t hold back, AT&T. Tell us how you really feel.

As I said MOnday, “While it’s no surprise to see AT&T and Google on opposite sides of a neutrality battle, the roles they’re cast in this time are at least a little humorous—Google as the one trying to restrict access and AT&T as the fair-minded, open-access alternative.”

What do you think? Is Google trying to evade neutrality, or keep costs down? Is AT&T the disadvantaged underdog or are they just trying to maintain their stranglehold?

Full text of the letter:
at-t letter to FCC over Google Voice Oct 14

  • http://www.seo-theory.com/ Michael Martinez

    There is nothing neutral in Google’s position. They are looking for a zero-cost way to increase their profits. Consumers like AT&T customers will have to foot the bill for Google’s highly distorted picture of “net neutrality”.
    .-= Michael Martinez´s last blog ..Why Brent Payne’s PageRank Sculpting report is bogus =-.

  • http://www.billeblue.com Bille Baty

    I think it’s REALLY hilarious that AT&T could say with a straight face “Hey, we’re against stifling competition.” Give me a break, AT&T. As long as you’re the one stifling competition, it’s fine. I say let it play out in the FREE MARKET.

  • http://rebythree.blogspot.com Juris Tech Doctor

    Google Voice is not a carrier. It doesn’t grant or deny anyone access to anything. It is a piece of software, available to all users on equal terms, with certain limited capabilities. What’s next: Google Search can’t block websites it knows to be abusive? Blogger can’t reject blogs that violate its terms of use? GMail can’t refuse delivery of emails with attachments that exceed the maximum size? Google Books has to allow access to every book, ever?

    Let’s be real about this.
    .-= Juris Tech Doctor´s last blog ..What does "carry" mean? Don’t ask AT&T. … Or Google. … Or the FCC. =-.

  • http://bestispoffers.com/ Michael Walker

    This is like comparing apples and oranges. Google is not an internet provider company.
    .-= Michael Walker´s last blog ..FCC Launches Site to Deal wit Net Neutrality =-.

  • http://bobfirestone.us/blog Bob Firestone

    Google has been acting evil recently. The releases of things like sidewiki and forcing it on site owners is evil.
    I don’t know why anyone would think google does anything for the community. Every decision google makes is the one in their best interest and if the community gets anything positive well all the better. This doesn’t mean google is bad, it is a business and this behavior should be expected.

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