October 29, 2009

Google Responds To FCC Inquiry About Its Voice Service

Google Inc on Wednesday admitted that its free calling and messaging service blocks calls to less than 100 phone numbers, most of which are adult service lines and free conference call services.

The comment comes in response to an investigation launched by the Federal Communications Commission that began after Google Voice's call blocking was put into question by AT&T.

Google claims that Apple Inc has blocked approval of the Google Voice app for the iPhone, but Apple said it is still studying the software, according to Reuters.

The FCC asked Google for questions pertaining to its practice of blocking calls to certain phone numbers.

Google said it began blocking certain phone calls in August. In a recent blog post, the company said it has been working to improve its call blocking system.

The company did admit to blocking calls to less than 100 numbers, which it claims are involved with "traffic pumping schemes."

Richard Whitt, Google's Washington telecom and media counsel, told the Associated Press that the company blocks calls to these numbers in order to "prevent these schemes from exploiting the free nature of Google Voice."

"The current system simply does not serve consumers well and these types of schemes point up the pressing need for reform," Google said.


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