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"Indeed, if one were to replace 'Google' with 'AT&T,' and call blocking' with 'no pay' in AT&T's [letter to the FCC], Northern Valley and Sancom would have little to add to describe AT&T's unlawful campaign." "Without a hint of irony, AT&T concludes that 'the Commission cannot, through inaction or otherwise, give Google a special privilege to play by its own rules,'" Buntrock added.AT&T and the other major carriers "are in desperate need of reminder of their obligations under the law." "For AT&T to invoke rural America to seek common carriage regulation of online applications, while rural carriers say AT&T isn't even paying its bills, is the height of cynicism," said Mistique Cano, a Google spokesperson.
These lawmakers, including Steve Buyer, an Indiana Republican and John Shimkus, an Illinois Republican -- who have received a combined 0,000 from AT&T and Verizon over their careers, according to -- have written to the FCC complaining that Google's refusal to connect expensive rural calls is "ill conceived and unfair to our rural constituents." The FCC is set to open an investigation to determine if that's true, according to Dow Jones, and will formally notify Google of the inquest later Friday.
Since most consumers now have phone service with unlimited long distance or large monthly chunks of minutes, the calls are supercheap -- or effectively free -- for the user, while AT&T and the other long-distance carriers have to shoulder the charges imposed by the local exchanges. Thus, while lawmakers, AT&T, and editorial page might pontificate about how this is all about rural phone customers, or fairness, in reality this is about sex and money -- and everyone knows it, including AT&T, which has long griped about the situation.