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AT&T accuses Google of a vast conspiracy, including using its "monopoly" to control the media, control user's internet traffic, and silence its opponents.  (Source: The Independent)
A new letter from AT&T to the federal government makes it clear that the company has little love for Google

If there's one thing clear from the Google Voice iPhone debacle, it's that there's no love lost between AT&T and Google.  AT&T, to date, is accusing Google of everything from political and news manipulation, to violating net neutrality.

The drama surrounding the rejection began shortly after when the Federal Communications Commission opened an inquiry into who was responsible for the rejection of Google Voice and whether the rejection violated any federal laws or rules.  AT&T quickly responded that it did not mastermind the rejection, and that it was Apple's doing.  Apple followed up, taking the blame and say it was working to get the app approved.

Then came a second response from AT&T.  Apparently in a sharing mood, AT&T sounded off against Google and complained to the FCC that it believes Google Voice breaks the law.  Since AT&T has allowed VoIP apps onto the iPhone, but Google Voice is still no where to be found.  Now AT&T has delivered a third letter to the FCC further attacking the internet giant.

While Google has been attacked by many -- newspaper moguls, telecoms, and internet rivals -- the new letter is perhaps the harshest conglomerated criticism leveled against the company to date.  Written by Robert W. Quinn, Jr., an AT&T Senior Vice President, the letter entitled "Google Voice; Establishing Just and Reasonable Rates for Local Exchange Carriers" opens claiming Google is a hypocrite when it comes to net neutrality.

Mr. Quinn writes:

As the debate regarding “net neutrality” has evolved, it appeared on the surface that all parties shared the same desire to preserve the “free and open” nature of the Internet, a goal enunciated by [FCC] Chairman Genachowski with which we heartily agree."

As communications services increasingly migrate to broadband Internet-based platforms, we can now see the power of Internet-based applications providers to act as gatekeepers who can threaten the “free and open” Internet. Google’s double-standard for “openness” – where Google does what it wants while other providers are subject to Commission regulations – is plainly inconsistent with the goal of preserving a “free and open” Internet ecosystem.

The letter claims that Google's explanation that it is only blocking certain kinds of rural calls like adult sex-chat lines, to avoid high fees leveled against the free service, is a lie.  The letter accuses Google of conspiracy, saying it also blocked calls to an ambulance service, church, bank, law firm, automobile dealer, day spa, orchard, health clinic, tax preparation service, community center, eye doctor, tribal community college, school, residential consumers, a convent of Benedictine nuns, and the campaign office of a U.S. Representative.

According to AT&T, Google is "abus[ing] its market power".  AT&T insists Google is not exempt, either from being free or being internet-based, from federal regulations that prevent such call blocking.

The letter also calls Google a monopoly, citing, "In preparing a complaint to challenge the Google/Yahoo arrangement, the [U.S.] Department [of Justice] reportedly concluded that Google had a “monopoly” in these markets and the proposed arrangement “would have furthered [Google’s] monopoly."

Furthermore, AT&T accuses Google of practicing broad-scale manipulation of the media.  It says that Google blocked political advertisements from Senator Susan Collins, due to her criticism of Moveon.org, a Google net neutrality partner.  It also accuses Google of blocking the Inner City Press from Google News, as the publication criticized the United Nation Development Programme, a Google-sponsored program.

It then goes on to accuse Google of illegitimately "buying" ads in its own auction to push its agenda for keywords such as "net neutrality". The letter concludes, "Ironically, Google appears oblivious to the hypocrisy of its net neutrality advocacy relative to its own conduct. [A]t the same time, Google exploits the dominance of its search engine and its gatekeeping power over other applications to give its preferred content greater visibility than its political opponents’ content or to simply block its competitors’ applications altogether."

"Deliberately narrowing the principles to award Google a special privilege to play by its own rules – or no rules at all – would be grossly unfair, patently unlawful, and a renunciation of President Obama’s assurance that the Commission’s Internet Policy Statement would be used to “ensure there’s a level playing field” between competitors. Thus, the Commission’s first fundamental step in leveling that playing field must be to unequivocally re-affirm in its proposed rulemaking that it will not exempt Google from whatever rules it ultimately adopts."



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ATT vs Google
By 3minence on 10/16/2009 9:29:24 AM , Rating: 5
This really is the pot calling the kettle black. Both Google and ATT are companies who wish to make as much money as possible with as little government interference in their own activities as possible.

The big difference here is that I am an ATT customer and am dissatisfied with the quality of their service for the money I pay them. But I pay Google no money and actually like their service.




RE: ATT vs Google
By straycat74 on 10/16/09, Rating: -1
RE: ATT vs Google
By othercents on 10/16/09, Rating: 0
RE: ATT vs Google
By straycat74 on 10/16/2009 11:44:24 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Who cares about ALL your communcations?

Google's advertisers. Do you think google doesn't store information? Seriously?
quote:
Are you that important that people would put microphones in your house and follow you around 24/7?

No need. We send them our info. Pretty simple and not even in need of a conspiracy theory. You have a huge wealth of personal information, and a strong political leaning.
quote:
So many people live their lives through their celebrity idols that they get confused that people don't actually care about them. I'm sure that Google doesn't care either, so get over yourself .

I think you were so concerned with spreading your wisdom, you forgot to have a point.


RE: ATT vs Google
By axeman1957 on 10/19/2009 1:32:12 PM , Rating: 3
I think the point is, who cares if Google processes your browsing habits and shows adds that you may actually be interested in? "Oh no, Google knows I look at porn every Tuesday after work before my wife gets home."

The point is the vast majority of us have nothing to hide, and If you do, maybe you should disconnect from the internet and lock yourself in a faraday cadge like the other conspiracy nuts.


RE: ATT vs Google
By carniver on 10/16/2009 12:41:56 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah, and the same set of privacy concerned people would sign up for a twitter account and post constant updates about their daily activities lol


RE: ATT vs Google
By TSS on 10/16/2009 11:38:49 AM , Rating: 1
You're right! lets riot and kill Google!

*a week later*
Well we succesfully killed the google empire. Now i can go back to look at places to spend my holiday at!

lets go to google and.... oh wait....

hmmm... lets try bing.com.....

*several years later outside microsoft's office*

I WAS ONLY LOOKING AT PORN!!! WHY THE CHILDREN STEVE, WHHYYYYYYY!!!!!

*moral of the story*

Search habbits aren't going to change even if google where to dissapear. Personally i search stuff several times a day on the web, if google dies, i'll go to the next one and so will everybody else. Because i can't *find* anything on the web otherwise.

Just be glad Google to the best of our knowledge still handles the data with care. And if they don't just switch to a company who does. If no company does, start your own, there's clearly a gap in the market which last time birthed google.

Oh, and do you remember the pre google days? Yahoo/microsoft splitting the power with a few minor but hardly more efficient engines like askjeeves? I try not to.


RE: ATT vs Google
By dark matter on 10/16/2009 2:42:26 PM , Rating: 2
I used to altavista. Don't know about you hun, but that was before microsoft.


RE: ATT vs Google
By Kenenniah on 10/16/2009 3:29:52 PM , Rating: 3
Don't forget Lycos, Webcrawler, Excite, Infoseek, etc. etc. etc., ALL of which were before Microsoft launched MSN Search, which even still used the other search engines, not its own. Microsoft didn't start using it's own search engine until 2004.


RE: ATT vs Google
By Nik00117 on 10/19/2009 7:24:49 AM , Rating: 3
....Um your a nutter


RE: ATT vs Google
By MatthiasF on 10/16/2009 3:47:46 PM , Rating: 3
And there lies the ignorant, short-sighted attitude that pits the masses against those who provide the actual internet service in favor of those who take advantage of it.

Google doesn't charge YOU, but they sure as hell make tons of money from you. Every ISP people complain about has tons of debt from building the network we all take for granted, but Google has none and continues to roll in dough with incredible 30%+ profits.

So, why does everyone take the side of Google in every issue? They're making massive profits, organizing political movements for their advantage, and stealing more and more from others for their benefit (book scanning, telephone service, etc.). Why aren't they giving a higher percentage of the advertising revenue to the sites that uses Google's ad service? Why aren't they opening up Google Voice calling to everyone like required by a common carrier? Why won't they let watchdogs guarantee their privacy policies are being carried out? Why don't they come clean about how their target ads on Gmail?

Google does very little to provide their service, as shown low operating margins, and cares even less about it's effects on the economy or world. Each new service they roll out is a direct strike at the ISPs that Google owes it's existence. Services that take more bandwidth/traffic, circumvent federal regulations and segregate the Internet more (Wave, Chrome OS).

They're taking more for themselves and giving nothing back. Google has turned into the tech leech that no one seems to notice sucking on their neck.

Another case of a "cool" company marketing themselves out of people's cross-hairs.


RE: ATT vs Google
By William Gaatjes on 10/17/2009 4:36:36 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Google doesn't charge YOU, but they sure as hell make tons of money from you. Every ISP people complain about has tons of debt from building the network we all take for granted, but Google has none and continues to roll in dough with incredible 30%+ profits.


ISP's have financial problems because they offer products their network cannot support. They cannot upgrade their network because of to much competition in not enough income. That has nothing to do with google but with bad business plans. ISP's just provide the highway. ISP's should not care if it is being used. However ISP's too want to make money and provide services such as streaming video and radio. These services use enormous bandwidth especially since "HD" is the magic word. Yes google provides youtube. And if after a study it seems that the majority of data is youtube related then google and ISP's can have a meeting about joining products. But google is not entitled to anything because it is the customer that wants to look at youtube movies by use of the ISP's. It is not google who forces it upon the customers and therfore upon the ISP's

quote:
So, why does everyone take the side of Google in every issue? They're making massive profits, organizing political movements for their advantage, and stealing more and more from others for their benefit (book scanning, telephone service, etc.). Why aren't they giving a higher percentage of the advertising revenue to the sites that uses Google's ad service? Why aren't they opening up Google Voice calling to everyone like required by a common carrier? Why won't they let watchdogs guarantee their privacy policies are being carried out? Why don't they come clean about how their target ads on Gmail?


It is the way of the future. Or would you like to go to the old days before the times of the electronic calculator ?

quote:
Google does very little to provide their service, as shown low operating margins, and cares even less about it's effects on the economy or world. Each new service they roll out is a direct strike at the ISPs that Google owes it's existence. Services that take more bandwidth/traffic, circumvent federal regulations and segregate the Internet more (Wave, Chrome OS).


What you describe is nonsense. With out a efficient search machine, people would take longer to search and consuming more bandwidth. Google actually lowers bandwidth requirements. What consumes actually bandwidth is all those web2.0 webpages. Use flash for even a simple text that can be done in html. Webpages are getting larger and larger because of content protection schemes. Often do i see that a picture has to be loaded by use of a flash application.
And why ? Ask yourself that...
I was amazed to see huge webpages full of articles and pictures but the webpages where very fast in loading times because it only used java and html. Fun part was this was a (english language) chinese technical review site from china.
It is the ISP's themselves that offer products that their bandwidth limited network can not handle. For example streaming media is ok, but don't blame it on google that your network cannot handle the streaming.

quote:
They're taking more for themselves and giving nothing back. Google has turned into the tech leech that no one seems to notice sucking on their neck.


Prepare yourself for a lovebite from vlad.



RE: ATT vs Google
By William Gaatjes on 10/17/2009 5:08:50 PM , Rating: 2
Problems are already solved :

quote:
Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs announces new optical transmission record and breaks 100 Petabit per second kilometer barrier

400 DVD's in a second over 7000 kilometers...

http://www.alcatel-lucent.com/wps/portal/!ut/p/kcx...


RE: ATT vs Google
By MatthiasF on 10/17/2009 11:30:40 PM , Rating: 2
Impressive, but imagine how powerful the router would need to be to handle that kind of traffic.

Not going to be cheap!


RE: ATT vs Google
By MatthiasF on 10/17/2009 11:29:05 PM , Rating: 1
The ISPs have "financial problems" because they have an actual physical task to accomplish. Having several thousand servers sitting in racks is far easier and cheaper to build and maintain than millions of branches on an end-run network. It's not an issue of ISPs not being able to sell the product, you've bought it already to be using the Internet. So, don't give me a "they're in trouble because their not doing their job right", you're on the damn Internet using all these free services so they seem to be doing a damn good job. Their problem is they let things get out of control, allowing traffic patterns to go in directions that are unmaintainable. Traffic patterns altered by sites and applications created by the companies leading the charge against the ISPs.

quote:
It is the way of the future. Or would you like to go to the old days before the times of the electronic calculator ?


So, if the future is allowing a monopoly to harvest vast amounts of data from the general population (not just browsing habits, mind you), create laws that benefit itself more than consumers, all while avoiding any criticism or oversight than it's a future in peril. And don't blame the electronic calculator for the new 1984 scenario playing out. Blame user's ignorance and short-sighted appetite for "free" content.

quote:
What you describe is nonsense. With out a efficient search machine, people would take longer to search and consuming more bandwidth. Google actually lowers bandwidth requirements.


If Google was only a search engine today, I'd agree to a degree but even an efficient search means more web browsing. But web browsing isn't the bandwidth hog. They've repeatedly swooped in to save bandwidth hogs like Youtube and Flickr. They then swooped in to save Grand Central, giving it's voice service an advantage against against cell phones and land lines that have government regulations to uphold.

Each new product they come out with is aimed to push their influence out of their core business. So much so that they're making Microsoft look tame by comparison.


RE: ATT vs Google
By William Gaatjes on 10/18/2009 4:35:17 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
So, don't give me a "they're in trouble because their not doing their job right", you're on the damn Internet using all these free services so they seem to be doing a damn good job.


I do not know where you get your internet from but i have to pay a monthly fee to be able to use the adsl connection(physical) my provider let's me use. My provider and i have a contract where it is written that i can use the material the ISP provides in exchange for a monthly fee. I think you got "fee" and "free" mixed up.

quote:
So, if the future is allowing a monopoly to harvest vast amounts of data from the general population (not just browsing habits, mind you), create laws that benefit itself more than consumers, all while avoiding any criticism or oversight than it's a future in peril. And don't blame the electronic calculator for the new 1984 scenario playing out. Blame user's ignorance and short-sighted appetite for "free" content.


Nothing is for free. Not even the rising of the sun.
Nothing comes for free not even philanthropy. But when the good out weights the lesser good(notice i do not use the bad) by far. It is all perspective. Are you sure you are not related to Steve Ballmer ?

quote:
If Google was only a search engine today, I'd agree to a degree but even an efficient search means more web browsing. But web browsing isn't the bandwidth hog. They've repeatedly swooped in to save bandwidth hogs like Youtube and Flickr. They then swooped in to save Grand Central, giving it's voice service an advantage against against cell phones and land lines that have government regulations to uphold. Each new product they come out with is aimed to push their influence out of their core business. So much so that they're making Microsoft look tame by comparison.


Innovation is something you do not like do you ?
Besides, it is the chicken or the egg problem. There is more bandwidth, let's use that. It is the same as the pc. More calculation power then the current software needs. But the next iteration of software will use all that untapped calculation power.

In comparison :
Microsoft uses the increased amount of calculation power on the pc for DRM schemes. I do not find that innovative. That is protecting your lobbying friends. For example, sure they "invented " that "minority report" table. But is a crime for your lower back. When you have issues with your physical health, that table is useless.

quote:
They then swooped in to save Grand Central, giving it's voice service an advantage against against cell phones and land lines that have government regulations to uphold.


That is the problem with politics today. They do more to protect drm schemes and people who overcharge already. Instead of doing the actual job. Setting up honest and reasonable regulations to protect the customer from abuse.
But maybe they do. Because if the general population(read customers) use voice over ip more then regular cell phones and land lines. Then that is what they want to use. In time when voice over ip really get's too big those regulations will come.

p.s. I am not against protection of intellectual property, but i am against somebody forcing it upon you and then using the law to forcing you to pay over and over again.
And when i buy a dvd, i do not want to see a short infomovie that accuses me upfront of being a criminal. As i do not understand why most music cd's are more expensive then movie dvd's. Those movies did cost a hell of a lot more to make then that music...


RE: ATT vs Google
By lyeoh on 10/18/2009 11:13:02 AM , Rating: 2
Quote: "Every ISP people complain about has tons of debt from building the network we all take for granted"

1) The last I checked my ISPs was charging me for internet service. Maybe you troll for ATT and get your service for free, but most people aren't as lucky as you.

2) The US ISPs/Telcos got USD200 billion worth in rebates, tax savings, laws etc to build stuff that they have NOT delivered and are hardly even close to delivering:
See: http://www.newnetworks.com/ShortSCANDALSummary.htm
http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2007/pulpit_200...


RE: ATT vs Google
By KashGarinn on 10/19/2009 5:41:46 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't use the phrase "pot calling the kettle black"

- I'd use the phrase "George bush calling britney spears a terrorist" - Everyone can see britney spears isn't a terrorist, same as everyone can see google has none of the faults AT&T is listing.

- Everytime someone complains to FCC, FCC should really investigate both companies, starting with the one doing the complaining.

- Far too often I've seen people or companies shout and complain about "faults" with others, where there a) isn't a fault, and b) the complaining person/company is the one who is at fault, and often specifies its own problems.


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