Senate Judiciary Committee to Hold Comcast-TWC Merger Hearing in March

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Today the United States Senate announced that it plans to hold hearings on the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger. The hearing is scheduled to take place March 26 before the Senate Judiciary Committee. The hearing is to figure out how the merger might affect market competition, television services, internet pricing and more. No doubt the FCC's Open Internet Order will be talked about during this hearing as well.

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Congresswoman Eshoo: New Net Neutrality Rules Would Put Consumers Back in the Driver's Seat

February 25, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Speaking on NBC's "Press:Here" show over the weekend, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) said that it's a good thing that the Federal Communications Commission has decided to tackle the thorny task of tweaking the Open Internet Order (commonly referred to as "net neutrality") because it will empower consumers.

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Netflix Pays Comcast for Direct Connection to Network

February 24, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Wall Street Journal (by way of Ars Technica) is reporting the popular entertainment streaming service Netflix has agreed to pay cable operator Comcast to gain a direct connection to Comcast subscribers who use the service.

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FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Details Plans to Foster an 'Open Internet'

February 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a statement today laying out the agency’s strategy for preserving and restoring open Internet policies, but also confirmed that the FCC had no plans on appealing an earlier court decision in the case against Verizon. The Appeals Court ruled that the agency did not have the authority to enforce its net neutrality rules over broadband networks under section 706 of the Telecommunications Act.

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Obama Administration Responds to Net Neutrality Petition, Reaffirms Support

February 19, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Obama Administration has responded to a petition on "We The People" calling on the president to compel the FCC to fix net neutrality rules and lobby congress to do the same. In its response the administration reaffirmed its commitment to net neutrality rules, while at the same time highlighting the fact that the Federal Communications Commission is an independent agency.

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Comcast and Time Warner Mobilize Lobbyists for D.C. Influence Blitz on Merger

February 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The day after Comcast announced its intentions to buy out Time Warner Cable, it mobilized its army of lobbyists and consultants to gauge the atmosphere in Washington D.C concerning the deal. The company has no problem lobbying lawmakers and padding their campaigns with cash to get the job done either.

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Sen. Al Franken Tells FCC, FTC, and DOJ Comcast-TWC Merger Goes in the 'Wrong Direction'

February 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Senator Al Franken (D-Minnesota) has come out strongly against a proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable. In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, Sen. Franken said that there is already not enough competition in this [we assume he means broadband and cable television] space and this deal goes in the wrong direction. He also said that he is thinks this deal will increase cable prices and decreased the quality of service for Time Warner Cable customers.

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Report: Comcast to Buy Time Warner Cable

February 13, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Comcast is expected to announce a deal worth $44 billion to buy out rival cable operator Time Warner Cable today, according to a Bloomberg report. The company will reportedly announce today that it plans to pay $159 a share to Time Warner Stock holders.

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ECA Action Alert: Tell Congress to Restore Net Neutrality Rules

February 11, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has issued an action alert urging members and the internet-community-at-large to contact their elected officials in Washington D.C. and urge them to support two stop-gap measures that would restore net neutrality rules until a more permanent solution can be worked out by lawmakers. You can check out the appeal from the ECA below:

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Report: Verizon Rep. Admits That Company is Throttling Netflix

February 7, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A fascinating account of one man's encounter with a Verizon customer support representative details how the company admitted that it was selectively limiting bandwidth to AWS services and adversely affecting the quality of Netflix.

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California Democrats Push for Restoration of Open Internet Order Through New Legislation

February 4, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

California US Reps. Henry Waxman and Anna Eshoo (both Democrats) submitted legislation this week that would reinstate the net neutrality rules recently struck down by a D.C Federal Appeals Court decision. Rules that were part of the Open Internet Order preventing Internet service providers from blocking or discriminating against content were vacated last month after a Federal Judge said that the Federal Communications Commission failed to properly justify its authority to implement them.

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Coalition of Rights Groups and Organizations Urge FCC to Restore Net Neutrality Rules

January 31, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

This week rights group Free Press led a coalition of organizations (including the ACLU, Avaaz, Common Cause, ColorOfChange, CREDO, DailyKos, Demand Progress, Fight for the Future, the Harry Potter Alliance, MoveOn, RootsAction and the Sierra Club's SierraRise community) that delivered a petition signed by one million people to the Federal Communications Commission urging the agency do whatever it has to do to restore Net Neutrality.

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AT&T Patent Uses Credit System to Track and Control Consumer Bandwidth Usage

January 30, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

A new patent filed by AT&T Mobility in September 2013 and published this month hopes to keep customers from "abusing a telecommunications system" by consuming too much bandwidth, according to a report on TorrentFreak. The ultimate goal of such a patent is to apparently keep users from using certain services within the confines of packages they subscribe to.

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ECA Action Alert: Tell Washington To Fix The Open Internet Order

January 21, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) has issued an action alert concerning the future of net neutrality, asking its members and the Internet community at large to contact their representatives in Congress, President Barack Obama, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and ask them to preserve and revise the Open Internet Order so that it can survive future legal challenges.

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Public Knowledge Appoints New President

January 16, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

Public Knowledge on Thursday announced that former Justice Department antitrust official Gene Kimmelman has joined the watchdog group as its new president. Kimmelman has long been a leading proponent of net neutrality, and given the recent Appeals Court decision striking down part of the FCC's rules in its Open Internet Order, Public Knowledge and other organizations that support Net Neutrality need all the help they can get.

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Court of Appeals Nullifies Part of FCC's Open Internet Order

January 14, 2014 - GamePolitics Staff

The U.S. Court of Appeals struck down part of the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) rules on Net Neutrality today, in a clear victory for Verizon and other service providers who say the agency doesn't have jurisdiction over mobile and broadband.

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FCC Puts Five-Month Moratorium on AT&T 'Special Access' Rate Hike Plan

December 10, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has put the brakes on a plan by AT&T to raise prices for "special access" customers, which could have led to a rate hike to businesses and cell phone users. AT&T had planned to make that hike happen today, but the FCC stepped in and suspended the action for five months while it conducts an investigation on the matter.

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New FCC Chair Thinks It's 'Okay' for ISPs to Charge Netflix Extra

December 4, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Newly anointed FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said this week that it would be okay for Internet service providers to charge Netflix and other companies for a faster lane to consumers. While some think that Wheeler's stance is surprising given that the FCC implemented the Open Internet Order in 2010 to stop ISPs from discriminating against certain types of traffic, anyone who knows Wheeler's past is not in the least bit surprised. Wheeler is a former lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries.

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FCC Rolls Out Broadband Speed Test App

November 14, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is rolling out a broadband speed test app for Android phones beginning this week, with plans for an iOS version sometime later down the road. The app was announced at the Nov. 14 meeting, which was the first under the agency's new chairman Tom Wheeler.

"If we are going to be making fact-based decisions, we need facts," said Wheeler, "and you are enlisting the American people for those facts."

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Former FCC Chairman: ISPs Need to Implement Data Caps

October 24, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

Michael Powell, a former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman (under President George W Bush) and now President and CEO of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA), recently said that ISPs should be moving with urgency to implement data caps on their customers.

His remarks, chronicled by Multichannel News at the recent Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta, were in response to a question about data caps.

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Republicans Take Aim at Net Neutrality in Debt Ceiling Debate

October 3, 2013 - James Fudge

According to The Hill, one of the demands that Republican lawmakers in the House of Representatives have put forth calls for a repeal of the FCC's rules on net neutrality.

According to the publication, a memo was circulated late last week amongst Republican lawmakers detailing some of the demands that they have put forth as a condition of passing a budget and raising the debt ceiling.

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Early Indicators at Appeals Court Bode Ill for Net Neutrality Rules

September 9, 2013 - GamePolitics Staff

In the early hours of a three-judge panel hearing this morning at the Federal Appeals Court, the FCC's net neutrality rules took some strong criticism from the bench. The Federal Appeals court expressed "deep concerns" that the agency's "net neutrality" rules approved in late 2010 are completely legal. Verizon argued before the panel this morning for two hours, saying that the rules were not legal because they were not implemented by lawmakers and that the FCC does not have the authority to enforce them.

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Appeals Court to Examine Net Neutrality Rules

September 9, 2013 - James Fudge

Today the Federal Appeals Court will hear arguments in a case against the FCC's net neutrality rules. Verizon will go before a three-judge panel to argue that the "Open Internet Order" does not have the approval of the Congress and that the FCC does not have the authority to regulate broadband and mobile Internet services. The company will also claim that the rules are "arbitrary and capricious" and violate the company's constitutional rights.

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Google to FCC: Google Fiber Legally Prohibits Servers to Avoid Network Congestion

July 31, 2013 -

Ars Technica points out that Google Fiber's terms of service has a clause that a lot of its subscribers probably don't know about: if you don't have a written agreement with the company in advance, you are not allowed to host any type of server on its connection.

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Time Warner Cable to Raise Modem Lease Fees

July 30, 2013 -

If you are a Time Warner Cable internet customer, you can look forward to a price hike on that cable modem lease the company instituted late last year. Customers weren't happy that TWC decided to charge a leasing fee of $3.95 (in most regions) per month which officially kicked in last November. Now customers will see that fee increase about a little over $2. The modem leasing price will jump from $3.95 to $5.99 per month. - roughly an extra $24.48 per year.

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T-Mobile Completes Acquisition of MetroPCS

May 1, 2013 -

The Associated Press is reporting that the country's fourth largest mobile carrier T-Mobile USA has completed the acquisition of rival mobile phone carrier MetroPCS. T-Mobile will add the company's estimated 9 million customers to its own 34 million users. While T-Mobile has no plans to make any immediate changes, the company does plan on shutting down MetroPCS’s network over the next two years.

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Departing Republican FCC Commissioner Calls Net Neutrality a Failure

March 25, 2013 -

Departing FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell (Republican) says that one of the commission's biggest failures was net neutrality while one of its greatest triumphs while he was there was reform of the Universal Service Fund. He along with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski (Democrat) announced last week that they would be leaving the agency shortly.

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FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Resigns

March 22, 2013 -

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) confirmed a story that had been circulating the internet over the last 24 hours: that Chairman Julius Genachowski will be leaving his position "in the coming weeks." Genachowski pushed hard for universal broadband and net neutrality but with limited success.

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France Considers Net Neutrality Law

March 13, 2013 -

Is France about to join the "net neutrality club?" According to this Ars Technica report that is a distinct possibility, but some things need to be worked out first… The French government has put forward a new plan that could enshrine net neutrality into national law, and should it pass it would become the second country in Europe.

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Super Podcast Action Committee - Episode 43

March 5, 2013 -

On this week's show, hosts Andrew Eisen and E. Zachary Knight are joined by James Fudge to discuss the new Six Strikes anti-piracy scheme, Time Warner Cable's insistence that customers don't want faster broadband and the latest poll on the PS4's lack of backwards compatibility. Download it now: SuperPAC Episode 43 (1 hour, 14 minutes) 67.8 MB. You can also check out the show on YouTube if you prefer an unedited and more visual experience.

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Poll

Will we ever get Half-Life 3?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
NeenekoI only got a short way into HL-1, but enjoyed HL-2. Probably because I do not like PC FPS games and HL-2 I got on console.10/02/2014 - 12:28pm
Andrew EisenI have a confession to make: I didn't really care for Half-Life.10/02/2014 - 12:27pm
Papa MidnightI don't think I've used the forums since the Wordpress days.10/02/2014 - 12:13pm
NeenekoI keep forgetting we even have forums.10/02/2014 - 11:48am
ZippyDSMleeA shame we can't have good convos in the forums, seems to me its time to nuke and restart fresh on them.10/02/2014 - 11:45am
Papa MidnightOh, no problem! Just wanted to let you know that it's what we're discussing. By all means, join in!10/02/2014 - 11:36am
E. Zachary KnightNeeneko, No problem. In juicy conversations, key points of discussion get pushed off quickly.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoA rather scary censorship. I have known too many people and small companies destroyed by such pressure, so this unnerves me at a pretty personal level.10/02/2014 - 11:36am
NeenekoMy bad, I always have trouble working out what is going on in shoutbox10/02/2014 - 11:34am
Papa MidnightTo a point stated earlier, it very much is a form of indirect censorship. Rather than engage in rhetoric and debate, one side has instead chosen to cut-off opposing viewpoints at the knees and silence them via destroying their means of income.10/02/2014 - 11:28am
Papa MidnightNeeneko: the topic of Intel's dropping of Gamasutra is indeed part of this very ongoing conversation.10/02/2014 - 11:26am
NeenekoThis can't be good... http://games.slashdot.org/story/14/10/02/1558213/intel-drops-gamasutra-sponsorship-over-controversial-editorials10/02/2014 - 11:25am
Andrew EisenAnd there's also the consideration that the fact that a former IGN editor was one of the people who worked on the game's localization may be unknown (although in this specific case, probably not. Drakes been very visible at events IGN covers).10/02/2014 - 11:24am
Papa MidnightAlso, let's face it: people seem to believe that a conflict of interest can yield only positive coverage. Who is to say that Audrey Drake did not leave on bad terms with IGN (with several bridges burned in their wake)? That could yield negative coverage.10/02/2014 - 11:23am
Papa MidnightThat's a fair question, and it's where things get difficult. While Jose Otero may not have any cause to show favor, Jose's editor may, as may the senior editor (and anyone else involved in the process before it reaches publication).10/02/2014 - 11:21am
Andrew EisenWould such disclosure still be required if Fantasy Life were reviewed by Jose Otero, who wasn't hired by IGN until sometime after Drake left?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
Papa MidnightIn that case, a disclosure might be in order. The problem, of course, is applying it on a case-by-case basis; As EZK said, what's the cut-off?10/02/2014 - 11:19am
E. Zachary KnightAndrew, a disclosure would probably be in order as she likely still has a strong relationship with IGN staff. My follow up question would be "What is the statute of limitations on such a requirement?"10/02/2014 - 11:09am
E. Zachary KnightSleaker, my hyperbole was intended to illustrate the difference and similarity between direct censorship and indirect censorship.10/02/2014 - 11:07am
Andrew EisenOpen Question: Former IGN Nintendo editor Audrey Drake now works in the Nintendo Treehouse. Do you think it's important for IGN to disclose this fact in the review of Fantasy Life, a game she worked on? Should IGN recuse itself from reviewing the game?10/02/2014 - 11:07am
 

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