Recently, the FCC announced its proposed rollback of net neutrality rules. The gaming community has good reasons to consider this move a threat. Gamers are especially vulnerable to ISPs for two reasons:
- we depend on high quality Internet access.
- we spend money.
The second one is the biggest reason to worry. ISPs’ primary motivation for gutting net neutrality rules to extract more revenue both from us (for high quality service that should be standard) and the companies we’re trying to access. The PC gaming market grew to $36 billion in 2016, with F2P games like League of Legends, World of Tanks, and DOTA 2 leading the charge.
The New York Attorney General is suing Time Warner Cable right now for interfering with both Netflix and League of Legends players. Riot provided data on latency and packet loss for the lawsuit, which is pretty damning, you can read it here. It wasn’t just incompetence on TWC’s part. TWC was deliberately allowing failure while they were pressuring Riot Games for a payment.
Another thing to consider is how much data games use. Many modern games are over 50GB in size. Not even counting online gaming, game downloads must count for a sizable chunk of internet traffic. ISPs could charge fast lane fees to companies like Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and Valve, which would drive up the cost of games and services. In a world without net neutrality, we’ll see shallower discounts, and $70 or $80 games if ISPs get their way.
If we lose net neutrality, whenever you open our wallet online, ISPs will want a piece, and there will be little or nothing you can do about it. But we can stop this. FCC Chair Ajit Pai can ignore the public, But it’s much harder for him to ignore Congress. That’s why the most important thing you can do right now is email and call your Senators and House reps, and tell them to oppose Ajit Pai’s reconfirmation, and send a comment to the FCC in support of Net Neutrality.
But perhaps more than anything we need a team who can help us organize gamers, and the industry as a whole to fight back. If you can help PM me!
If you’re confused about what’s going on, or need a quick refresher, here is a great video from John Oliver: www.youtube.com/watch?v=92vuuZt7wak