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Whether it’ll make any difference or not remains to be seen but the FCC has stepped into the whole AT&T/Apple and Google fracas.

I posted recently about either AT&T or Apple (no-one is sure who) rejected the Google Voice app and preventing some healthy competition and saving iPhone users some money. (see “Where’s my Google Voice App”)

There is evidence that the FCC has launched an investigation, sending letters to Apple, AT&T, and Google asking them what’s going on.

I’d like to think that this is the FCC picking a battle and attempting something of a show of power. As well the Government entity listening to the cries of it’s iPhone (and other cell phone) using constituents.

Yes, allowing applications such as Google Voice and Skype on cell phones essentially bypasses the carrier networks and dramatically cuts into their business and profits. Good for customers good for competition but bad for business.

TechCrunch has an excellent write up of the whole deal here but here’s a break down.

The FCC wants to know:

  • Whether Apple worked alone or with AT&T in the rejection of the Google Voice App and other related Apps.
  • Whether AT&T has a role in App approval and in what way.
  • What the difference is between the Google Voice App and other similar, approved VOIP-type apps.
  • What other apps have been rejected and why. Are customers notified of these rejections?
  • What are the approval/rejection standards for apps.

It’s not very often that I agree with Government intervening with private entities and enterprises like this, especially where the customers are being herded and pretty well penalized.

If we, the consumers can’t get these questions answered maybe the FCC can. After all, who is it that runs the wireless network world? should it be left to the people profiting from it? (yeah, bad idea) or the people using and benefiting from it?

I want to give praise to Google also. They do profit from the use of Google Voice (international calling is charged for) and they didn’t, at least publically, rant, rave, stomp, and throw a tantrum about the Google Voice App rejection. I’m pretty sure that I would have.

I’m proud of my Google in being the bigger man in this deal.

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