There’s been a lot of talk online the past week about extending the principal of network neutrality to wireless networks, which may be partly why the FCC has asked Apple, Google, and AT&T to answer some questions about the rejected Google Voice iPhone app. Todd Barr at Bandwidth.com thinks that the reason may actually have to do with the concept of number portability.
Why number portability, when the app at the center of the investigation was about far more than that? Because the “telephony experience” has changed so much in recent years that preserving consumer independence involves more than just protecting a phone number–now it extends to things like determining how you route calls to that number, or what level of information you display to specific recipients, and so on.
Dave Rosenberg, a CNET blogger who wrote about this theory, points out that whether it’s behind the FCC’s investigation or not it’s going to be an increasingly important issue for consumers:
For users to ultimately be in control of their telephony experience and to encourage the next wave of telephony innovation, the concept of portability will need to extend beyond just numbers to the telephony user experience.