The Video Game Industry Joins The Lawsuit To Save Net Neutrality

from the with-Mario's-help dept

The Electronic Software Association (ESA) has decided to take a break from making up piracy statistics to actually do something useful.

The group, which represents video game publishers ranging from EA to Nintendo, has filed a motion to intervene (pdf) in the looming case against the FCC's repeal of net neutrality rules at the behest of consumers. Numerous consumer advocacy firms, several companies including Vimeo and Mozilla, and 23 State attorneys general have filed suit against the FCC, arguing it ignored the public interest, experts, and objective data when it rushed to kill popular net neutrality rules at the telecom industry's behest.

In a statement posted to its website, the ESA states it felt the need to lend a hand to ensure that ISPs don't use their last-mile monopolies to hamstring innovative and disruptive new games or gaming-related services:

"The internet drives innovation, fuels our 21st century economy, and helps create the jobs of tomorrow—especially for the connected world of interactive entertainment. Consumers deserve rules of the road that prevent blocking, throttling, and other restrictive conduct – and enable the great online experiences that bring meaning and value to all parts of our country. ESA will make that case in the months ahead on behalf of America’s gamers and game makers."

In the full filing, the ESA says its members are concerned that with no rules in place, ISPs may "take actions that could jeopardize the fast, reliable, and low latency connections that are critical to the video game industry." In Canada, that manifested a few years back when Rogers decided to throttle all BitTorrent activity, hampering the then BitTorrent-based World of Warcraft upgrade client. As with every other sector, there's valid worry that ISPs will strike paid prioritization or zero rating deals with the deepest-pocketed companies, putting smaller services and companies at a disadvantage.

The lawsuits against the FCC comes as more than half the states in the union have now proposed their own, state-level net neutrality protections. Large ISPs, meanwhile, have threatened to sue any state that dare try and protect consumer welfare. The lawsuits, which should fully kick off after the FCC finalizes publication of the repeal (expected late this month), should be chock full of insight into some notably bizarre behavior by the Trump FCC as it tripped over itself to pander to the telecom industry.

Filed Under: fcc, net neutrality, video games
Companies: esa, mozilla, vimeo


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Apr 2018 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It could and I would hope that would be the outcome if ISPs decided and were allowed to do something like that.

    However, gamers are still kind of looked down on (though that is beginning to change) and it wouldn't surprise me a bit if, at first, the ISPs just said "well if you really think you need that kind of speed, you can pay for it". I mean, that is essentially what Pai said when he advocated that 10 Mbps mobile data is a viable substitute for wired broadband. Good luck playing online games on that kind of connection. I would hope the backlash from that would be so bad they would backtrack quickly. The problem is, most games these days require an online connection, so gamers are stuck with the choice of either bowing to ISP pricing demands or not playing games at all.

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