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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, 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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RE: ATT vs Google
By William Gaatjes on 10/18/2009 4:35:17 AM , Rating: 4
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.

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 ?

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.

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...

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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