Please support Game Informer. Print magazine subscriptions are less than $2 per issue


Google/Verizon Proposal Could Mean Gamers Pay Extra

by Tim Turi on Aug 09, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Want The Next Issue In Your Mailbox?

Subscribe now

Today internet behemoths Google and Verizon proposed a plan that would allow internet service providers to offer a “fast lane” online service at a premium while preserving an open internet similar to what you’re using right now. What this could mean for online-minded gamers is a paying a little more for bigger internet pipes.

The plan's primary goal is to prevent a biased internet in which ISPs could pump up the speeds for partner sites while forcing competitor pages to load more slowly. This net neutrality (a principle to prevent ISP restrictions) friendly proposal would fragment the internet into the open, “free” internet and another paid one which would offer higher data transfer capabilities for big downloads, hospitals' health-care programs, or online gaming.

“Our proposal would allow broadband providers to offer additional, differentiated online services, in addition to the internet access and video services offered today,” the proposal states. “This means that broadband providers can work with other players to develop new services. It is too soon to predict how these new services will develop, but examples might include health care monitoring, the smart grid, advanced educational services, or new entertainment and gaming options.”

Google and YouTube would remain under the “free” internet, so casual internet browsing and bite-sized video watching would still be accommodated. Given Google has the option to bow out of the "fast lane" internet, it appears that companies will be free to choose whether to utilize the quicker online experience. Under this proposal, providers of MMOs (which must be perpetually connected), and download heavy services similar to Xbox Live could option to offer a premium service for an extra charge in addition to the what's already offered, or could be forced by ISPs to require an upgrade for the bandwidth-heavy services.

Of course as of now this is just a proposal and nothing is set in stone. It does raise some interesting questions for people who rely heavily on the internet, such as gamers.

Would you be willing to pay more to play online and keep the internet free from the potential bias of internet service providers?

Source: Wired