AT&T Criticizes Google for Blocking Adult, Rural Calls

Bob Preston
CUPERTINO, Calif. — AT&T has accused Google of blocking porn-related as well as other kinds of calls to its VOIP app Google Voice in the latest stage of the feud between the two companies.

The feud originated with the emergence of the Google Voice app, which lets cell phone users make calls using VOIP, or voice over Internet protocol.

Apple has blocked Google Voice from the company's App Store. The FCC took notice and applied pressure to AT&T and change its policy. In response, AT&T opened its 3G network to other VOIP apps, but not Google Voice.

Google has blocked certain calls from Voice, including expensive teleconference calls that could clog up its network. Today AT&T released statements criticizing Google for blocking phone sex lines, as well as calls made from certain Catholic convents.

Google responded to AT&T's criticism by explaining that it blocks calls from certain rural areas because some Google Voice users — including phone sex operators — route their calls through those areas to make the calls more expensive and increase revenue. Apparently some convents got caught in that net.

Apple and AT&T's position against Google Voice has drawn widespread criticism from tech experts.

"We all know that the real reason Apple won’t let Google Voice through is that they are scared out of their mind that … Google Voice will eat their iPhone lunch over the long term," said Michael Arrington of