What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

August 11, 2009 -

The Federal Communications Commission is holding a series of public workshops this month regarding the development of a National Broadband Plan.

Steve Augustino, a Washington, D.C. attorney who specializes in communications issues relating to video games, believes that the game biz needs to make its voice heard at these events. He offers advice to various game industry segments in his latest column for Gamasutra:

For mobile game developers, Augustino suggests:

I would tell the FCC the explosion of the Apple iPhone shows that quality devices can and will drive adoption and use of mobile broadband services.  I would add that six of the top paid iPhone applications for 2008 were games... I would tell them that mobile games also are popular on "feature phones," although the "walled garden" effect hinders their growth...

 

There is a need to improve the consumer experience in finding, downloading and buying mobile games.  Users should have the right and ability to access mobile games from the provider of their choice...

For PC game developers, Augustino's focus is a bit different:

I would [remind the FCC] that PC gaming has played a significant part in both the advancement of computing capabilities and in adoption of broadband by consumers...  Gaming is the ultimate social experience, whether one plays Texas Hold 'Em, Farmville, Diner Dash or World of Warcraft...

We expect to see more of in-game voice, video and other communications technologies as broadband capabilities increase...

For game industry organizations, venture capital firms or major game publishers, Augustino suggests:

The [FCC] should consider the potential effects of broadband in expanding the market for interactive entertainment, venture backing of content creators and the game development job markets in this country... more broadband is good for the entertainment industry...

I would discuss the rise of "serious" games and describe the many ways in which game technology is used by businesses, hospitals, government and others for these purposes.  I also would discuss the efforts of non-profit groups to increase the use of interactive media to educate children.  Games offer a new frontier of possibilities in these fields...


Comments

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

While we're at it, could someone please tell the Australian government about broadband and the infrastructure needed to support it? You might have to start at the basics because I'm pretty sure they're mostly oblivious to the technology. Best write them a letter with pen & paper though, it may be quicker than downloading an email. :p

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

My only worry about National Broadband is who will be administering it, and will groups be lobbying for them to play morality police?

 

--- Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

IMO it SHOULD be the ISPs themselves that do the upgrade, but they proved in the 90s that they can't be trusted to do it.

I think the government should fund the laying of new lines and help with maintaining it all, but I thinki t should end there, as your question about lobbyists wanting them to censor it to their own morality view has been real with ALL media types.

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

 I am all for Private Enterprise and less Government but Government here in the United States does not interject itself in the Video Game industry in the right way. Often they will come out with laws that violate the 1st Amendment and focus on controlling what we see.

 
That’s a problem and that is not what we need Government to do. What we need to do, as citizens is demand accountability in the Industry. To  have Goverment watch the Industry and prevent companies from becoming monopolies and wiping out competition and producing low quality games. I think Activision and E.A are the biggest examples of the Government looking the other way well these business abuse consumers and retailers.
 
The whole Microsoft fiasco and the way they have handled their product and their response does demand intervention. To release a broken product and for awhile deny any wrong doing only to find the system has a huge design flaw and continues to have a design flaw.
 
I demand accountability from these companies and I hope Government can represent us in demanding these companies do right rather then telling these companies what they should make and how we see things.

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

I still wonder what happened to the $20B dollars that was given to Telco's and ISPs to create affordable BB access nation wide in the 90s. That is the question the FCC should be asking.

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"The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

--------------------------------------------------------------------------- "The most difficult pain a man can suffer is to have knowledge of much and power over little" - Herodotus

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

Easy ,the execs figured they could use private jets more than upgrading the services that make them money.

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

Between companies starting to throttle internet traffic and the outage spikes on broadband this summer I think something needs to be done or we need to move to another service. 
 

I didn’t believe the reports or warning the there would be spikes this summer and lag but man it has gotten bad for me at least.  

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

I think something that needs to be sorted out is 'who is responsible for end services', as there seems to be some confusion. The Roll-out of IP6, for example, has been incredibly difficult because of the amount of old hardware in the system. Who is responsible for updating that hardware, is it the Provider, the Service or the Customer, or does it depend on where that hardware is?

Whilst situations like this exist, I think there will always be bottlenecks, and the more the Internet is used, the more squeezed those are going to be.

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

The easy answer to who is supposed to update the hardware is this: the person who owns it. The ISP owns the hubs and cables used to transmit the data from their central servers to to the consumer. They have to upgrade it. The ISP owns the central servers that relay the consumer's requests to the rest of the world. It is their responsibility to upgrade it. If the ISP loans or sells the modem the consumer uses to connect to the ISP, it is the ISP's responsibility to inform the consumer in a timely fashion that new hardware is available and to make aquiring that new hardware as easy as possible.

Basically, the bulk of upgrading the internet lies on the backs of the ISP. If they do not want to accept the responsibility of keeping their hardware current, they should reconsider their business model.

E. Zachary Knight
Oklahoma City Chapter of the ECA
http://www.theeca.com/chapters_oklahoma

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

I suppose part of the problem is that it is practically impossible to put pressure on these groups to do so, because the Internet is such a Global thing, and so many services are now reliant on it, that its impossible to simply say 'as from this date, everyone must be IPv6 ready'.

Re: What Game Companies Should Tell the FCC About Broadband

Am I correct in my presumption that you have a cable provider and live in a high volume metropolitan area?

As for reports of the myth referred to as the exaflood... Proven bull.

It's a shame these meetings won't be open to attendance by the public. I'd make that 40 minute-to-hour drive to D.C.

----
Papa Midnight
http://www.thesupersoldiers.com

----
Papa Midnight

 
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Infophilelabour (primarily among mothers and teens) and some show increased labour. Maybe it's a cultural thing in play that results in different outcomes in different societies.07/12/2014 - 6:53am
InfophileYou also need to take into account just how crappy it would be to only have the basics to live. But with competing forces at play like this, it's impossible to argue to an answer. We have to look to tests of it, and results are mixed. Some show decreased07/12/2014 - 6:51am
MechaTama31to be done, and some people really need jobs.07/11/2014 - 5:41pm
MechaTama31Info, I think you don't really understand just how crappy a lot of the jobs are that provide the "basics" that you assume will just continue to be produced under such a system. There's very little pride or prestige to be had from such jobs, but they need07/11/2014 - 5:40pm
Andrew EisenMaskedPixelante - That's probably because it's now available on the Wii U eShop for $8.07/11/2014 - 5:18pm
InfophileThat's not how human psychology works. It's all about "Keeping up with the Joneses." When everyone around you has a new fancy smartphone and is talking about that cool HBO series, do you want to be the one left out?07/11/2014 - 4:05pm
Matthew WilsonThe issue is most people would settle for the basics and not work. That is why we would need very heavy automation to make a system like that work. Almost all labor intensive tasks would have to be done by robot.07/11/2014 - 2:32pm
InfophileOf course, that's a gross oversimplification. The idea, have a basic safety net that pays for what's needed to live. If people can find a job and are willing to work, they get more money which can be spent on comfort and perks.07/11/2014 - 11:33am
InfophileIt's quite possible to get an economy to work with a basic minimum standard of living. You just need perks for the people who do work. Everyone gets food and a home. Everyone who works also gets an iPhone.07/11/2014 - 11:32am
MaskedPixelanteIn the continuing adventures of "Stuff I figured would be overpriced on eBay but isn't", 15 bucks for a copy of Mario and Luigi: Superstar Saga.07/11/2014 - 10:04am
SleakerI didn't gather the same conclusion.. Seems like they are focusing on devices & services still, just not calling it 'devices and services'07/11/2014 - 8:57am
PHX CorpMicrosoft CEO readies big shakeup, drops devices and services focus http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/10/5887143/satya-nadella-microsoft-ceo-employee-email07/11/2014 - 8:45am
MechaTama31declared that everybody should have them. Somebody still has to produce them.07/11/2014 - 7:44am
MechaTama31I do mean the developers/governmet. And money is not the only thing of value. I am including the food, housing, etc that everybody is supposed to get for free under this system. In the real world, those things don't exist merely because an authority has07/11/2014 - 7:43am
InfophileAs automation gets better and better, the number of jobs absolutely required keeps diminishing. How many people these days do you think are actually needed to keep everyone alive? Most people just make our lives more convenient and entertaining.07/11/2014 - 4:43am
Matthew Wilsonthat kind of system only works when most people (around 70 to 80 percent ) do not need to work.07/11/2014 - 1:21am
TechnogeekConjured up by who, though? If by the players, then it's not really "on a whim" since they're kind of putting work into it. If you mean the developers/government, then hello and welcome to monetary sovereignty.07/11/2014 - 12:34am
MechaTama31I'm just saying, when everything of value can be conjured up at a whim, that's not an economy. That's a fantasy.07/11/2014 - 12:15am
TechnogeekHonestly, though, what I find most thought-provoking about the article isn't the guaranteed minimum income aspect at all, but a more fundamental point: that we treat poverty as a moral failing on the individual, rather than a design flaw in the system.07/10/2014 - 11:53pm
TechnogeekOr, if your concern is that people won't even bother to work at all if their basic needs are met...well, let me put it this way: do you really want people like that in the workforce anyway?07/10/2014 - 11:51pm
 

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