Nuns Caught in Google and AT&T Crossfire

AT&T is rapping Google's knuckles with a "net neutrality" ruler

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    Calling on a higher power, AT&T is now claiming Google Voice has excommunicated nuns from free phone service.

    When the Google Voice application was blocked from the iPhone, most assumed that AT&T was to blame.

    After all, why pay for voice service at all if you could use an unlimited data connection to place calls over the network?

    However, AT&T has since called Google to task for blocking calls to and from everything from rural numbers.

    Google argues that's because some rural phone providers charge exorbitant rates, and even redirect Google Voice calls to sex hotlines.

    So now AT&T has shot back that it's not just hicks in the sticks affected, but even the office of a congressperson and a convent of Benedictine sisters.

    Leaving tech news site GigaOm to quip: "That’s hardball. I see your sex lines and raise you rural ambulance services, a U.S. Representative’s office and NUNS!"

    Which leads AT&T counterintuitively arguing to the Federal Communications Commission that it's Google who's now on the bad side of the debate on network neutrality, a complicated issue that boils down to whether or not network operators can privilege data transmission based on the type, source or destination of that data.

    In this case, if Google's concept of broadband network neutrality were to be applied to telephone networks, Google Voice would be in violation.

    Either way, someone's gonna need to go to confession, whether for invoking the good name of nuns in vain or denying said nuns their Google-given rights to free Internet phone service.

    Jackson West wonders if he can call his family's cabin using Google Voice.