In response to requests from AT&T, the FCC has announced an inquiry into Google Voice. AT&T filed a complaint accusing Google Voice, a free, innovative web application, of not allowing calls to certain numbers with high access charges.
The FCC has signaled it supports more competition on the Internet and the Computer & Communications Industry Association looks forward to seeing this. The following statement can be attributed to CCIA’s President and CEO Ed Black:
“The new chairman has made it clear that he is concerned about all Americans having real choices when it comes to modes of communication. We think at the end of this query, it will become more clear that this service offers people additional ways to make phone calls – and it’s free. That’s bound to rattle existing big telephone companies.
“When there is robust competition among Internet applications, one carrier or service does not have to be all things to all people. Customers can vote with their feet, or hang up perhaps, if they don’t like the policies. A web application like Google Voice helps boost innovation and competition.
“People don’t subscribe to Google Voice instead of a wireless or landline phone service. They must have that service to even use Google Voice and they still can use that existing service to make calls.
“What we hope comes from this query is a better understanding of the need to reform antiquated intercarrier compensation rules.”