ESA Fights Net Neutrality Repeal in the Name of Online Gaming

The ESA Believes Net Neutrality Is Necessary for Online Games

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) is joining the lawsuit that’s attempting to reinstate net neutrality in the United States. The group claims that the net neutrality repeal could have a negative impact on online games that require powerful internet connections.

The ESA filed a motion for leave to intervene in order to support the case against the Federal Communications Commission. The lawsuit includes a mix of Democratic state attorneys general, tech companies, and consumer advocacy groups.

The video game industry lobby group claims that its members, which include industry heavyweights such as Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Capcom, and Konami, will be hurt by the repeal “because the FCC’s Order permits ISPs to take actions that could jeopardize the fast, reliable, and low-latency connections that are critical to the video game industry.”

Net neutrality rules prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling legal Internet traffic and deals that ISPs could use to charge for better Internet access.

The brief filed by the ESA in the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit outlines their stance below.

“The FCC’s Order eliminates the rules that prevent broadband providers from blocking, throttling, and otherwise interfering with consumers’ access to content online. Absent these protections, ESA and its member companies will have no effective legal recourse against broadband provider conduct that impairs consumers’ online video game experiences. In particular, broadband providers are now permitted to engage in practices that degrade consumers’ traffic. That, in turn, could have significant consequences for the enjoyment of multiplayer online games and cloud-based game play services, both of which require low-latency connections to support rapid and continuous interactivity.”

ESA General Counsel Stan Pierre-Louis claims that consumers deserve net neutrality rules.

“Consumers deserve rules of the road that prevent blocking, throttling, and other restrictive conduct,” ESA General Counsel Stan Pierre-Louis said in an announcement. “ESA will make that case in the months ahead on behalf of America’s gamers and game makers.”