Uncommon Wisdom

Aug 24 2009   12:25PM GMT

Google and wireless regulation in the U.S.

Tom Nolle Tom Nolle Profile: Tom Nolle

There’s more debate on the smartphone VoIP front as both Google and T-Mobile deny there were any deliberate restrictions placed on Skype for the T-Mobile Android handsets. Google said there was no full-feature Skype implementation offered as yet for Android, and T-Mobile said it had put no pressure on Google to restrict VoIP applications.

All of this stems from the fact that Apple limited iPhone Skype to WiFi connections and blocked Google Voice (for, said Apple, reasons of lack of support for the iPhone’s distinctive GUI). We think these issues may combine with the Comcast net neutrality appeal to create some momentum for legislative intervention, though the FCC may also look into the matter. If the FCC takes action, it may help uncover just what basis the FCC will claim for regulation of net neutrality issues; the net neutrality principles published by the FCC were not part of an order and thus have no direct legal status.

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