ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

October 27, 2009 -

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski praising proposed Net Neutrality rules.

The letter, which was also copied to the FCC’s four Commissioners, notes the key reasons the Net Neutrality movement is important to gamers:

• Popular massively multiplayer online (MMO) games such as Activision-Blizzard’s World of Warcraft hosts more than eleven million users worldwide;
• Both Xbox Live® and PlayStation Network® connect over 46 million console users in the United States and abroad in hundreds of games online; and
• Well-liked gaming websites like Kongregate, PlayFirst, and PopCap Games also serve hundreds of millions of users on their web browsers.

A section of the letter also touched on the rights of wireless gamers:

The iPhone App Store and other wireless providers are selling thousands of games to consumers on their phones, but are also urging that principals of Net Neutrality should not apply to them. From a gamer’s perspective, wireless providers must be treated the same as any other service provider to insure the same gaming experiences exist across platforms.

Noting that “more troubling behavior in the marketplace” has become more common—such as “deep packet” inspection by Internet service providers—ECA Vice President and General Counsel Jennifer Mercurio wrote:

The ECA asks that the FCC take action now to affirmatively safeguard the free flow of information on the Internet before it’s too late.

Full Disclosure: GamePolitics is a publication of The ECA


Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

As far as regulations go, this type of regulation is preventing company made regulation.  I honestly don't see it as regulation but regulation prevention.  It is much easier to stop something before it starts than after.  The fact that the internet has remained so open thus far does not mean it always would have been.

Yes the FCC has not been the best advocate for free speech, but these regulations do look to be in the business of protecting free speech, at least this time.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

Note: In the bill it gives the FCC power to make rules about how ISPs can regulate "lawful content".  They say this is to crack down on stuff like child porn which would be great but they never say where the line is drawn.  Are they going to start cracking down on bittorrent websites?  Youtube offenders?  Arguing on a blog?  Posting rude comments on social networks? Sorry but I don't think the FCC should have anything to do with "lawful content".  "Lawful content" should be removed from the bill.  PERIOD.


Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

"The ECA asks that the FCC take action now to affirmatively safeguard the free flow of information on the Internet before it’s too late."

This Libertarian asks that unelected officials who do NOT answer to voters not be allowed to create regulations with the force of law.  I understand you can't get it voted in so we have to pass it on to a regulatory agency, but the ECA shouldn't be surprised if this same regulatory agency also decides to initiate ECA opposed initiatives without the same concern an elected representative would have.

I understand that the ECA really thinks Net Neutrality would be a good idea, but they are too eager to get it to stop and recognize the consequences.  First it was an attempt to tack it on to the stimulus bill and force it through without debate and now it is in support of handing it to the very agency that would also be able to regulate content, which the ECA is opposed to.  Sure, this way it will have debate, but what does it matter?  If the details of the proposal are not what the ECA actually wants we can't call up our FCC representative and express that with any effect because they do not exist, as the FCC chairs do not represent us, and they do not have to answer to us.

ECA, as a consumer advocacy group you are disappointing me.  You would not support content regulation snuck in to an unrelated bill, nor would you support it being dealt with by the FCC in this manner (or does everyone feel they handled the Howard Stern situation just fine?).  So, why do you support your own initiatives being dealt with in these ways? 

I think there could be a very interesting open discourse regarding net neutrality and much debate could be possible to ensure that it has the optimal effect overall.  Unfortunately, we are on our second attempt by the ECA to avoid that from truly being allowed to happen.  Why?  Are you hiding something or has the association as a whole developed such tunnel vision for net neutrality that you don't recognize you are using methods you would attack if this were an issue you disagreed with?

GameDrunk - Celebrating our two greatest passions.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

This whole thing is why I never joined the ECA. 

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

Yea the whole "Keep government out of games."  Approach has obviously been dropped and long forgotten about.  They're now suppoting a bill that ushers in the FCC to regulate the internet... greaaat the FCC...  When it comes time to renew my membership, I wont.  ECA has become essentially worthless to me.  I have a lot of respect for those that run it and I was once fairly heavily involved in a chapter but the ECA strayed so very far from their original platform that I now actually stand against it.  There are other organizations that are willing to stand up for the freedom of the internet, games and free speech/expression that deserve my money and involvement.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality in its current form essentially is the Interstate Commerce Commission of the Internet. A quick history lesson would show legislators how well that worked.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

"Beware he who denies you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master." - Praven Lal, Alpha Centauri.

The mention of 'free flow of information' reminded me of this quote. No, it's not perfectly suited to the situation, but I hope it makes people think about this issue. :)

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

"The ECA asks that the FCC take action now to affirmatively safeguard the free flow of information on the Internet before it’s too late."

This sentence seems oxymoronic; when was the last time the FCC took any action to safeguard the free flow of information?  When's the last time a government agency did that?

The ECA needs to learn that turning to the government to solve their problems is not the answer.  If service becomes so bad for gamers, people will complain in numbers large enough to have an impact on the cable companies' bottom lines, and they will make a change.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

Yeah, that doesn't work very well when so many of the telcos have regional monopolies for their connection type.  They have definitely been abusing the fact that there is often no alternative to their service.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

Unless you live in the middle of nowhere, you nearly always have AT LEAST 2 options.  One of those options is often Time Warner or Comcast.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

I'd rather free speech regulated by something similiar to the first amendments than regulated by companies with biases and a goal of money, not consume satisfaction, especially considering how often they're in monopolies and duopolies, which can never be challenged because they own the lines and new ones are rarely if ever put in over existing, working ones.


As for "if enough people complain they'll change their service", that has to be a joke so I'm not going to take it seriously. 

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

Right, because the federal government has no slant or bias, and cares so much about the people's opinion. I don't know if you realize this, but the government's goal has rarely been 'consumer satisfaction'.

I'd rather the federal government not make any more ridiculous laws and stop wasting my tax dollars regulating shit left and right.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

The entire "Net Neutrality" debate is proof positive that if you give a heaping pile of shit a pretty name and a dedicated PR campaign, people will support it.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

Just like that Lautenberg bill I was talking about two weeks ago, Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2009.  Basically, it gives the Attorney General way too much power to determine who is or isn't a terrorist and allows them to curtail your rights without allowing you a real recourse for an appeal.

But people look at the name and say 'well, that's something I can get behind!'. 

Which kind of proves my belief that people are, for the most part, stupid and lazy.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

 There shouldn't be slant of bias on an issue like this, no. Not any more than there is to limit free speech. The constitution is a wonderful thing, because it regulates regulation in a way that prevents such bias's in issues of free speech - which the internet now is. 

But hey, you said people can just complain to their ISP, right? This way, people could complain to government and actually vote over the issue. America was a democracy last time I checked, was it not?

But then again, free speech is aparently a "ridiculous law" to you.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

When has the FCC been known for protecting free speech?

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

I don't know if you've pulled your head out of your ass recently, but I want you to consider; When's the last time you got to vote on what a regulatory agency did?  I sure as hell never got to vote on anything that the BATF did, or else 18 year olds would be able to drink.

Re: ECA Dispatch to FCC Lauds Net Neutrality

What does the BATF have to do with setting legal drinking age? Isn't legal drinking age set by state law?

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