And set aside the fact that these lawmakers' constituents are among the biggest beneficiaries of a system that provides them with the same phone service that more densely populated areas are accustomed to.
Instead, to understand what's going on here, consider this background.
"The fact is, we agree that the FCC needs to fix the current rules for compensating phone carriers." A spokesperson for the FCC declined to comment, and AT&T did not immediately return calls requesting comment.
In the end, though, it would seem that AT&T could wage its battle against the sex chat lines that are exploiting FCC regulations in a more direct manner than trying to drag Google Voice into also paying these fees.
"We are formally requesting an investigation by the FCC into the nature and function of Google Inc.'s voice service," the lawmakers wrote in their Oct. "A company should not be able to evade compliance with important principles of access and competition set forth by the FCC by simply self-declaring it is not subject to them without further investigation." Set aside for the moment the fact that most of these lawmakers have received over their careers hundreds of thousands of dollars from AT&T and Verizon (VZ) in campaign and PAC donations.
What these newlocal phone exchanges quickly discovered is that they could make a gobs of money by partnering with phone sex and adult chat companies to route the numbers through rural exchanges -- a practice known as "traffic pumping." The local exchanges then turn around and charge AT&Tmany of which are actually forwarded to sex call centers in Los Angeles and elsewhere."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.You can also lock-release Flash by pressing on the "puzzle" icon in the top right corner of your browser.You are currently using the Flash-version of the chat: it's fully featured and optimized.