Could The FCC's Net Neutrality Ruling Affect Your Gaming?

#1Dev445Posted 1/14/2014 7:28:11 PM
by Ben Reeves

Earlier today, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled that the Federal Communications Commission's rules for Net Neutrality were unfounded, and the broadband throttling that results could have an adverse effect on digital distribution and online gaming.

Here's what you need to know.

What is Net Neutrality? This is a set of laws developed to ensure that the public can maintain access to what are seen as basic services and public rights of way. The FCC established the Net Neutrality laws back in 2011 to ensure that a service provider (such as Verizon or Comcast) could not refuse service to someone because of their race or religion, but also as a means of ensuring that they didn't block competing traffic on their network or discriminate against another company's services. For example, Comcast can't diminish your ability to stream Netflix because they want to make their own streaming service look better.

So what happened at court today? The appeals court ruled that the FCC could regulate broadband access, but its Net Neutrality law was improper because it treated broadband providers like common carriers (like other telecommunications companies), therefore the Net Neutrality law could not dictate how broadband providers manage their network traffic. Basically, this means that there are currently no laws preventing broadband service providers from throttling their services.

The good news is that this makes it easier for service providers to manage congestion on their networks. The fear is that you could see different broadband speeds for streaming music, movies, and games based on which provider you use and the service you're trying to access.

Service providers could theoretically charge internet-based companies, such as Netflix, Amazon, and Google, a fee to prioritize the delivery of their content. This would mean that companies who paid for the speed boost would see their services pushed to customers' homes more quickly that others.

Will this effect gaming? It's hard to say because we don't even know how this will effect the internet as a whole. Service providers haven't announced plans to charge for throttling their content yet, but if they do, service like PlayStation Now and Xbox Live could also be affected. We'll keep you posted as this legislation evolves.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2014/01/14/could-the-fcc-39-s-net-neutrality-ruling-effect-your-gaming.aspx
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#2ElPolloDiablo87Posted 1/14/2014 7:29:55 PM
Well that sucks. Time Warner offers the only decent internet in my area and I can all but guarantee that they'll price gouge me.
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#3Ironman06Posted 1/14/2014 7:34:57 PM
Thanks for the info, I hope this gets appealed.
#4Foxx3kPosted 1/14/2014 7:35:33 PM
Hopefully.

Right now gaming and media streaming are granted a fraction of the speed you see on your speed test. And with high latency.

I hate this movement, but hopefully it leads to consumers having media streaming that WORKS and gaming that is LOW LATENCY, LOW JITTER.

It's absurd to me that a 30mbps connection can struggle to buffer on Amazon Prime or not even get HD on Netflix. CDNs are a mess. Our entire infrastructure is broken beyond belief.

Could good come from this? Maybe. Probably not. But maybe. Almost assuredly not with how "ISP" isn't really a choice but rather dictated by where you live.

I don't understand why they even act like the companies are competing with each other. There's no competition in the ISP market. They know it. The consumers just might not.
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#5PStrifePosted 1/14/2014 10:14:17 PM
Service providers could theoretically charge internet-based companies, such as Netflix, Amazon, and Google, a fee to prioritize the delivery of their content. This would mean that companies who paid for the speed boost would see their services pushed to customers' homes more quickly that others.


As they should, presently all these companies do, is act as nothing more then leeches of ISP technology. Forward thinking requires all these types of business models to start footing part of the bill, unless they want to see a very slow improvement on future internet infastructure.

Just like your common utilities, this actually costs money to improve and maintain.