Google’s response to “AT&T’s letter to FCC alleging that Google Voice is preventing its users from making outbound calls to certain phone numbers with inflated access charges, and asking the Commission to intervene”, outlines AT&T’s concerns over the local operator abuses and acknowledges that the “current carrier compensation system is ‘badly flawed,’ and need a fix.” And says that despited AT&T’s efforts to blur the distinctions between Google Voice and traditional phone service, there’re many significant differences:
- Unlike traditional carriers, Google Voice is a free, Web-based software application, and so not subject to common carrier laws.
- Google Voice is not intended to be a replacement for traditional phone service — in fact, you need an existing land or wireless line in order to use it. Importantly, users are still able to make outbound calls on any other phone device.
- Google Voice is currently invitation-only, serving a limited number of users.