Robert W. Quinn, Jr.
AT&T Services, Inc.
Senior Vice President
1120 20th St. NW, Suite 1000
Washington, D.C. 20036
Phone 202 457-3851
Fax 832 213-0243
October 14, 2009
Chief, Wireline Competition Bureau
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, SW
Washington DC 20554
Google Voice; Establishing Just and Reasonable Rates for Local Exchange
Carriers, WC Docket No. 07-135; Broadband Industry Practices, 07-52
Dear Ms. Gillett:
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 Chairman Genachowski with which we heartily agree. Ensuring consumers have
the ability to go where they want to go on the Internet, communicate with whom they wish and
access the lawful content they desire on the devices of their choice were principles that consumer
groups, application and content providers and network providers alike supported throughout the
discussion. The controversy over Google Voice demonstrates, however, that at least one party
believes otherwise when it comes to its own services. 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.
In this case, and contrary to the public pronouncements of Google and its allies, Google’s
rural call blocking regime is not limited to Google simply blocking calls to “adult sex chat lines”
and “free” conference calling services to avoid high access charges.1 As discussed in the