Gaming in the slow lane: What net neutrality has to do with gamers


I thought I wrote a lot about network neutrality, but this in-depth post over at Kotaku by Comcast gadfly and game industry executive Andre Vrignaud and Public Knowledge’s Michael Weinberg tackles the threat a court’s decision to kill net neutrality poses for gamers. It also spends a good chunk of verbiage on the problems with data caps too.


Richard Bennett

Status quo defenders Weinberg and Vrignaud make an interesting claim: replacing the MPEG TV delivery system cable currently uses with unicast IP will increase the data needs of the typical Internet user by an order of magnitude, from roughly 50 GBytes/mo to roughly 700.

The cable plant can handle that – its upside is roughly two orders of magnitude higher than today’s top speeds (generally 100 Mbps for cable) – but what about middle mile and interconnection? Cable already has fiber on the back end, so they can absorb that kind of upgrade as well, but it might be better to use some local caching for content that doesn’t change.

Upgrades to cable are inevitable as users shift from multicast to unicast for TV, but this isn’t an instantaneous switch. The computer industry has been playing with unicast TV from servers to clients since the 1990s.

I expect the technology will move faster than users do, regardless of cable company data caps and other extraneous issues.


Anyone talking yet about app stores?
The day they ask Google and Apple for 1 cent per MB it will be fun.

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