Print 21 comment(s) - last by Hare.. on Oct 31 at 10:17 AM

Google paints picture of abusive scammers sabotaging its service with pricey connections

Google Voice is an intriguing service from the internet giant that allows free text messaging, free domestic calling (including to Canada), and reduced international calling rates.  The service hasn't been embraced by all handset makers, however.  Apple quickly rejected a Google Voice app for the iPhone, prompting a FCC inquiry.

AT&T has come forth and accused Google of everything from being a monopoly to doctoring the media.  The most pertinent accusations to the Google Voice conflict are AT&T's claims that Google is breaking the law by blocking numbers to its service.

Google already said that it isn't breaking the law as the service is free and thus is not subject to the same restrictions as traditional telecoms.  Now it's Washington Telecom and Media Counsel, Richard Whitt, has posted a blog sharing Google's perspective in greater detail.

The post describes, "Earlier this year, we noticed an extremely high number of calls were being made to an extremely small number of destinations. In fact, the top 10 telephone prefixes -- the area code plus the first three digits of a seven digit number, e.g., 555-555-XXXX -- generated more than 160 times the expected traffic volumes, and accounted for a whopping 26 percent of our monthly connection costs."

Google claims that these numbers were mostly adult chat and "free" conference call lines, with high associated costs.  In response to the criticism, Google say it has been trying to block calls on a "more granular level".  It says it now only blocks about 100 numbers, which it is confident are part of traffic-pumping schemes.

Instead of facing criticism, Google feels it deserves praise for highlighting a flawed system.  It says that the higher costs of calls on traditional phone plans, and the existence of traffic pumping schemes point to a broken system.  Writes Mr. Whitt, "We still believe the Commission needs to repair our nation's broken carrier compensation system."

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RE: What'd they expect?
By amanojaku on 10/29/2009 1:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
Caller ID is the phone owner's paradies. I can ignore calls I don't recognize...

RE: What'd they expect?
By DaveLessnau on 10/29/2009 2:44:40 PM , Rating: 2
Caller ID would be even more of a paradise if the phone companies would let me block calls to my phone if they "originate" from that phone (darn scammers). Or, if I could block calls that don't provide their caller ID number.

RE: What'd they expect?
By jackedupandgoodtogo on 10/29/2009 7:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
Ooma blocks calls "originating" from your phone number and it lets you block private id calls. Best of all, it's a free nationwide calling service (you have to buy their Voip hardware, though).

RE: What'd they expect?
By Rumpus on 10/29/2009 9:53:52 PM , Rating: 2
AT&T offers Anonymous Call Blocking, that kills most 'private' calls. CallerID info is always suspect now due to the ease in which it can be spoofed.

RE: What'd they expect?
By Hare on 10/31/2009 10:17:07 AM , Rating: 2
If you have a smartphone there are plenty of blacklist/whitelist apps for that. At least I've tried one one my Nokia device.

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