League of Legends data feature in New York state lawsuit against Time Warner

    
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Remember back in the day when you’d complain about your lag and connectivity issues in an online game, only to have the studio tell you the equivalent of, “It’s ur ISP”? Well, maybe it is. And maybe it’s intentional.

That’s the contention of the state of New York, which earlier this month filed a lawsuit against the Time Warner conglom alleging a number of complaints that add up to fraud: that the corporation knowingly makes “false representations about speed and reliability” such that its internet network is overloaded, delivering a fraction of what consumers are promised and paying for; that the corporation rents deficient modems; that the corporation “rigged test results”; that Time Warner engineers knew and reported all this and the execs did nothing; and that the corporation took advantage of technical complexity and the public’s limited ISP choices to get away with it all.

So, telecom screws customers and gets caught and is now being sued by a state with intent to recover damages — why report that here? Because League of Legends is mentioned four times in the complaint — along with Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, and YouTube — as being one of the major platforms disrupted by Time Warner’s skeevy activities, and in fact, Riot Games provided latency data to the state attorney general in the service of the investigation.

“One of the most popular online games during the Relevant Period was League of Legends, which was developed and published by Riot Games,” says the complaint.

“Latency above 100 milliseconds affected performance in key parts of the game, creating lag time that put Spectrum-TWC subscribers at a disadvantage to their gaming competitors on other ISP networks. Similarly, packet loss of more than two percent resulted in interruptions, buffering, and other performance issues. Data from Riot Games confirmed that from at least September 2013, when Riot Games started to maintain this data, through August 2015, when Riot Games agreed to pay Spectrum-TWC for access, Spectrum-TWC subscribers did not enjoy a ‘good network experience.’ […] It was not until Riot Games agreed to pay Spectrum-TWC for access to its subscribers, that Spectrum-TWC agreed to connect its ports to Riot Games. Prior to this, Spectrum-TWC deprived its subscribers of reliable access to online content as promised.”

So maybe it was your ISP.

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Mewmew
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Mewmew

Vindication for so many game companies that we didn’t believe. “See we told you it was your ISP!”

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Alberto

Yes to this those $#$#% have had it coming for years…years! So do all the other BIG ISP Comcast I’m looking at you…

tethyss
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tethyss

Kudos to Riot for backing the players and trying to take down the ‘man’.
Bad on Riot for not realizing their internet game has players suffering latency and packet loss and implementing features to handle this — just like every other game company out there. Natch.

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Shannon Giblett

Could be worse you could live in Australia where a 1Mb upload speed is counted as being within operational norms and pings to most game servers are over 200ms.

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PepinoCantador

This was pretty common with both Time Warner (now Spectrum… For some reason) and AT&T around here as well.

It’s the all-too-common over-provisioning to make more money; If the nearby hub can handle 1000mb, they’ll happily sell 20 people (or more) 100mb apiece, trying to bank on them not all using their connections at once… Which of course still happens frequently during prime times.

Unfortunately, given the new head of the FCC, you can expect these practices and the lack of choice to continue unabated.

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Robert Mann

This is internet in the U.S.A. You either pay for a hard line specifically, wait for them to get around to it, or suffer.

The thing is, most people in our nation have never experienced the internet in other nations. It’s astounding how much faster and more reliable it is in so many places. Thus, most people in the nation just don’t even think about that, because they have never seen it.

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mistressbrazen

Comcast is horrible for connectivity. When I am in TSW I lose connection multiple times in a two hour session. This is usually in EST evening time zone. I rarely run dungeons anymore because between Comcast and Windows 10, which cuts my computer off randomly, I can never tell when game play will be interrupted.

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Johnathen Roberts

I hope that company is ***** so damn hard. Its fucking disgusting what they do. Just another example of why we need stricter interweb laws.

Godnaz
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Godnaz

We hear about this kind of thing a few times a year. A settlement is reached and never heard about again. No change in practices. The FCC cracks down with a fine but the false claims, fraudulent practices and monopolizing continues.

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Robert Mann

Probably because these companies are huge government representative ‘investors.’ The money pump keeps the feds from allowing competition to really take off against their monopolies.

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Scratches

Well, since it’s the State of NY that filed the lawsuit and not the FCC, it’s the State’s choice to accept any settlement offer or not. Whatever the FCC does has no bearing on the State’s suit.

Now, considering both the strong language of the excerpt and the fact that it’s a State AG’s office that brought the suit to bear (and not the FCC, who loves to roll over like a dog), I’m hoping this actually goes to trial, because TWC literally has no defense and this would set a beautiful precedent… one which wouldn’t be affected by the politicization of the FCC’s net neutrality efforts (or current lack thereof).

Riot’s testimony of TWC’s behavior (having to pay for “access to customers”?) is particularly damning… I mean, that’s literally extortion…

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Greaterdivinity

Time Warner and Comcast are fucking awful to the extreme. I’m terrified the two will merge at some point and the US will largely be left with whatever unholy beast comes out from it.

Fucking hell I wish ISP’s in the US didn’t suck, because it’s frustrating as hell needing to decide between Comcast, who have the worst customer service ever but at least a decent connection, or the small local company I use now that costs more, for less speed (and a freaking data cap), but don’t make me want to kill myself in the event that I need to call them for support.

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Armsbend

The most tech advanced nation in the world, who invented the internet and most things associated with it, are stuck with trash internet. The irony is as thick as it gets. So frustrating it is allowed to persist.

Comtrash, TW and ATT sued Google in an effort to successfully block competition. Par for course with telecom and completely cool with the government.