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FCC Asks For Information on Google Voice Calling Restrictions

10/09/2009 3:18 PM Eastern

In the interests, partly, of an open and accessible Internet, the FCC has asked Google for information on calling restrictions on Google Voice.

That came in a letter to the company Friday from the Wireline Competition Bureau. That follows reports that Google restricts calling from some rural consumers, according to the commission.

"In light of pending Commission proceedings regarding concerns about so called access stimulation, the Commission's prohibition on call blocking by carriers, as well as the Commission's interest in ensuring that broadband networks are widely deployed, open, affordable, and accessible to all consumers, we are interested in gathering facts that can provide a more complete understanding of this situation," wrote Wireline Competition Bureau Chief Sharon Gillett to Google's Washington counsel Richard Whitt.

The FCC wants answers by Oct. 28 to a number of questions, including how it believes the service should be classified for regulatory purposes and whether the "invitation-only" status of the service affects that classification.