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, 13 Apr 2018 @ 9:29am


    Perhaps you need to understand the internet better.

    No, that would be you. P2P is commonly used on the internet for many things and is an application level protocol. This is the equivalent of Comcast blocking facebook, google, World of Warcraft, or Microsoft on their networks. This is also EXACTLY why we need net neutrality.

    Blocking applications as an ISP to manage your network congestion is a HORRIBLE way to do network management. It arbitrarily decides what your users can and can't do on the net. In a business that works because you only want people to be using the net for business related purposes, but a home user may have purchased internet access JUST for that specific application you're blocking. That's anti-consumer, anti-open and free internet.

    They only had a 10mbps upload pipe at the time and p2p was the biggest congestion hog

    If true, that's still no excuse. There are much better management techniques, such as Quality-of-Service. Also, at the time, P2P accounted for, at most, 25% of all internet traffic. I'd hardly call that a problem, not when video streaming was on the rise and consumes SIGNIFICANTLY greater bandwidth.

    This is something many FCC heads would let go unimpeded.

    I seriously doubt that since the FCC SLAMMED Comcast for blocking P2P after it was discovered.

    AT&T did not block voip but convinced Apple to prevent the Skype app from being put on the phone due to congestion concerns with the tech at the time.

    Which is essentially blocking VoIP. Also, there was no good reason for this and there were better ways to manage it.

    There are hotspot TOS agreements currently under Title II which allows this practice, so I don't even know why you brought it up.

    What are you on about? What agreements are you talking about and what practice is allowed? Because as far as I'm aware, Title II rules say "NO blocking, NO throttling, and NO paid prioritization, with some exceptions for REASONABLE network management". In no way shape or form does blocking VoIP count as reasonable. That is unreasonable and Comcast and other ISPs have been, rightly, slapped around for it by the public and the FCC.

    Like I stated. People don't understand the issue.

    That much is obvious since you clearly do not.

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