Press Release

Public Knowledge Statement on FCC Inquiry into Google Voice

October 9, 2009 ,

The following statement is attributed to Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge:

“The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau today asked some very legitimate questions about the nature of Google Voice, beginning an inquiry that PK Legal Director Harold Feld on Oct. 1 urged the Commission to undertake. In trying to determine how the service works, and what place it has in telecommunications law, the Commission is starting down a worthwhile path to examine the changing nature of today’s telecommunications service. That inquiry should be more far-reaching than this relatively isolated case. We learned recently that another VoIP provider, Speakeasy.com, reserved the right to block calls to rural areas.

“We should be clear that the Commission’s inquiry has nothing to do with issues of an open, non-discriminatory Internet, as AT&T alleged when it brought the issue of Google Voice to the Commission’s attention last month. Neither does it have anything to do with denying service to rural customers, as others have said. It has to do with the clash between traditional telephone services and new technological realities. We urge the Commission to act quickly to resolve these difficult issues.”