Feeds

AT&T savages Google Voice

Some networks are more neutral than others

Business security measures using SSL

AT&T has escalated its attacks against Google and Google Voice, accusing the chocolate factory of double standards and demanding it be regulated like any other telco.

In a fifteen-page letter (PDF hosted at the Washington Post) Robert Quinn (AT&T VP) lays into the chocolate factory for holding an unregulated monopoly on web searching, stacking web searches in its favour and adopting a hugely hypocritical stance on the neutrality of communication networks.

The core complaint relates to the way in which Google Voice users are blocked from dialling specific numbers. Google claims this is to avoid excessive charges, but AT&T reckons that's decidedly un-neutral, not to mention that the operator discovered Google is blocking an eye doctor, a church, an ambulance service and a convent, amongst others.

Google reckons it's not subject to telecommunications regulations, which require operators to connect calls to any valid number, as Google Voice is just a software application not operating as a network operator. Not only is that obviously bollocks, as AT&T points out, but it's also in stark contrast to Google's position on net neutrality, which says operators should be required to connect to any valid address with equal facility.

The FCC's threatened stance on net neutrality should be applied to Google even if it's not a telecommunications company, argues AT&T. It points out that with 71 per cent of the search market, Google is more of a "gatekeeper" of internet content than any ISP, and so should be legally required to treat all internet content equally.

AT&T backs up its claims that the search giant is not being even-handed with an example where articles supporting net neutrality featured predominantly in search results. Google explained at the time that this was the result of "public service-type advertisements", but AT&T reckons that is hardly fair:

"Google never explained what it means when it claims to have 'participated in its own auction'; all we know is that it unilaterally moved its favored political messages to the head of the queue, apparently at no cost to itself."

No matter how vitriolic, or sustained, the attacks against Google, it's unlikely anyone is going to have much sympathy for AT&T: the former is still cool while the latter is just that monolithic company which can't run an iPhone network. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.