Google Voice comes under FCC scrutiny

Once again Google is facing controversy over its Google Voice Service. This time, the FCC is fielding concerns that its Google Voice service is preventing calling from consumers to various rural cities and towns. On Friday, the FCC sent a letter to Google that it is examining the issue as it develops network neutrality rules that would prevent broadband service providers from either blocking or decreasing the quality of content and applications that go above the use of "reasonable network management techniques."

The FCC's inquiry comes as the commission will unveil its proposed "Open Internet" ruling this Thursday. In addition, the FCC wants to get "a more complete understanding" of the complaints against Google. Google's troubles began in late September when AT&T lodged a complaint against the search engine company arguing that Google Voice blocks certain calls to rural markets so it can get out of paying access charges.

Although Google said the service does block some calls, it maintains that because Google Voice is a free, invitation-only service delivered over the web it is not subject to the same rules placed on traditional telcos. Not only is Google Voice a web-based service, but the company says the service still requires a landline or mobile phone to use it.

For more:
- Light Reading has this article

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