Regulations prevented Google from adding VoIP services to Google Fiber

by: Varun RajDecember 5, 2012

If you think Google’s fast Internet service is already awesome then you will be amazed to know that Google considered offering phone services too along with its ultra-fast internet and TV packages in the cities it is currently offering Google Fiber. Google was interested in rolling out VoIP with its Fiber network, which the company launched last month, according to Milo Medin, the company’s vice president of Google Access Services.

While cost was not a problem for Google, the company didn’t proceed with its plans due to rules applied by the U.S. government. Medin said:

We looked at doing that. The cost of actually delivering telephone services is almost nothing. However, in the United States, there are all of these special rules that apply.

Medin noted that if Google had bundled VoIP service in Google Fiber then his company would have had to do a fair amount of extra work on billing system due to different state tax calculations in Kansas and Missouri. Medin said that the fact that Google Fiber does not offer phone services has not affected its popularity and it is working really well in the first market it was launched.

  • Bish Fora

    “company would have had to do a fair amount of extra work on billing system due to different state tax calculations in Kansas and Missouri.”

    does it mean that they can Include it or plan to include in other markets where the law allows?

  • Prox

    I dont even have a landline, bring this to NYC please. Take my money, I will pay you!

  • omg

    That damn US govnt! Criminals lost in corruption! Why can’t they stay the hell out of my life so Google can give me phone service included with fiber? I wish the govnt would collapse so we could start over with a small one like we once had. Those officials work for us and are supposed to be serving us. But instead, they force me to pay more money since they won’t let Google include voip with fiber. Criminals!

    • JimAlaska

      It isn’t the Federal Government, it was state governments, They didn’t forbid it, they just had more hoops to jump through than Google was willing to deal with.

      I suspect that part of the problem is that every state has their own way of doing it, and they aren’t compatible. This is likely why you don’t see many companies providing local phone service to multiple states. In order to follow one states rules, you may be violating the rules in another state. You may see companies that have very similar names in multiple states. They may even share the same ownership. But, if you look, you will find they are separate companies.

      One of our local phone providers (Anchorage, Alaska) is currently owned by a consortium of Pacific Telecom executives (Southern California). I think the companies are kept separate for similar reasons.

      • James

        It wasn’t State of Federal Regulations it was the fact that most people are moving to their cell phones…. It would be like investing in a VCR company… And a very good time to blame Obama.

  • SamsaraGuru

    Was the only reason Google didn’t include it because of the billing issue? Or were there more built in impediments to competition in the law that protect current phone service providers from competition that would reflect unfavorably upon them?

  • Company wants to offer competitive product, government will not allow. I though we live in a capitalistic country.

  • Chris R

    The government needs to but out and let mankind be free. They do not want us to have a good extra phone option because someones friend is going to lose a few $.. SMH.