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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