End of net neutrality alarms gamers

According to industry observers, in a few week the Federal Communications Commission will vote to eliminate net neutrality.  When that happens, the big difference will be that Internet service providers will begin charging web companies for access to “fast lanes.” And  video-game providers could among those who get stuck in the slow lane, and gamers at West Shore aren’t too happy.

“With the abolishment of Net Neutrality, an abundance of stuff may occur,” junior Gannon Avery said. “Ultimately, service providers can charge users a price to be able to browse specific areas.” 

Net neutrality means that anything on the internet can be accessed with the same speed, if it is removed then service providers can charge customers more for certain websites.

“If net neutrality is ended, internet companies will be able to watch what you do on the internet and some websites may become blacklisted and premiums may have to be paid to “unlock” these websites,” senior Daniel Bornemann said.

The result would also hugely affect gaming because internet service providers could block certain games and charge extra for them.

“Potential competition between game creators and internet providers are a common reality, as you always need to keep shares and stock in mind,” Avery said “So for example, a service provider could block the link/website to a game download, or ultimately just completely block out all video games and require you to pay money to receive connections for video games,internet services, social media, etcetera.”

The increase in costs could potentially limit the creation of quality games. Companies suffer such as Blizzard, Valve, and even Nintendo would suffer, according to sophomore Nicole Weaver.

“It will definitely make gaming more expensive than it already is,” she said. “Internet providers could force you to pay more just to be able to have the connection to connect to an online game. If the game is browser-based, then if they don’t agree with the game for some reason or another, they could block you off completely. Gaming platforms such as steam would most likely suffer big-time.”

By Jordi Souto