ESA Joins Fight Against FCC Over Net Neutrality

"The internet drives innovation, fuels our 21st century economy, and helps create the jobs of tomorrow"

Credit: Martin Falbisoner/Wikipedia

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) officially filed to join lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in an effort to reverse its ending of net neutrality rules, The Hill reports.

"The internet drives innovation, fuels our 21st century economy, and helps create the jobs of tomorrow – especially for the connected world of interactive entertainment," the ESA said in a press release. "Consumers deserve rules of the road that prevent blocking, throttling, and other restrictive conduct – and enable the great online experiences that bring meaning and value to all parts of our country. ESA will make that case in the months ahead on behalf of America’s gamers and game makers."

The ESA represents video game developers and publishers. It also hosts the annual E3 convention. 

On Wednesday, the association filed to intervene in a case from Democratic attorneys looking to reverse the FCC's rule reversal from December, saying the FCC is allowing internet service providers to "take actions that could jeopardize the fast, reliable, and low latency connections that are critical to the video game industry."

The ESA joins other large tech companies such as Google and Amazon in fighting back against the FCC.

"The FCC’s Order eliminates the rules that prevent broadband providers from blocking, throttling, and otherwise interfering with consumers’ access to content online," the ESA says in court documents obtained by The Hill.

"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 December of last year, the FCC voted 3-2 to reverse Obama-era net neutrality laws set in 2015. Spearheaded by Republican Chairman Ajit Pai, the FCC argues these reversals will have no bearing on how people currently use the internet. 

"Americans will still be able to access the websites they want to visit. They will still be able to enjoy the services they want to enjoy," Pai said at the time. "There will still be cops on the beat guarding a free and open internet. This is the way things were prior to 2015, and this is the way they will be once again."