Cox Communications is rolling out a new Elite Gamer ‘fast lane’ internet connection

    
75
Oh, cool.

Who wants to pay more for your internet connection to make sure you can play games on it? Because that’s what Cox Communications is now offering with its Elite Gamer package, an extra $15 charge to ensure that your online game experience has minimal lag and ping. You know, the sort of “fast lane” connection that net neutrality rules were meant to prevent and that various companies (including Cox) assured people wouldn’t be created. Hooray!

Cox’s product will route game-specific traffic through specialized servers and connections, so customers who buy in to the service won’t notice faster speeds to other websites. The result will be that people who pay extra for the faster connection will have a natural advantage over people who don’t, and while connection speed has always been an issue, this only exacerbates the problem. There are also questions to be asked about the technical side (including how things are flagged as game-specific connections), but none of that really changes the fundamental issue.

Source: Tom’s Hardware; thanks to Apparition for the tip!
Update
Ars Technica has a piece up arguing that what Cox is actually doing is rebranding an existing service called Wtfast and is intended only for Windows PC users – and that “the service wouldn’t have violated net neutrality rules even if they hadn’t been repealed.” Or, as MOP’s Ben put it – based on the articles, since as he jokes he hasn’t “seen their router configurations or anything” – “There are technical distinctions between prioritizing traffic and treating it different within the network and a piece of software finding the fewest network hops between point A and B. Those are the semantics Cox is using to say they don’t have a ‘fast lane.’ They do have a point in that the way that this works, this is not something they’d even be able to provide to everybody. It sounds like it requires both a client and server side installation, and at this time the client piece only exists for PCs. But at the end of the day, does the consumer even understand or care about that difference? It’s an additional cost above and beyond the normal package that results in better service. If it doesn’t violate the ‘letter of the law,’ so to speak, it comes very close to violating the spirit.” (Thanks, TJ!)
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Witches

This sounds a lot like paying for protection.

If they own restaurants you can pay extra for staff that washes their hands, the elite hygiene package.

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Toy Clown

I left cable TV behind when services like Netflix popped up. 13$ a month vs. 80$ a month was a no-brainer, especially with the 13$ option being minus commercials and the ability to watch what I want, when I want.

I have a feeling these types of services cropping up to take advantage of making more money (without actually adding anything new) will make money for services that don’t gouge down the road.

Another reason why I’m not a huge fan of PvP since a lot of it depends on connection speeds rather than skill.

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Melissa McDonald

unfortunately Netflix and their “original programming” glut and dearth of good hollywood movies is no real substitute for hundreds of cable TV channels.

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McGuffn

Charge game companies to get access to your fast lane.

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silverlock

You know they are going to charge both.

SkySharkX2
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SkySharkX2

Looks like I’ll be keeping my eye on my latency and pray they don’t sabotage it. I’m surprised though, Cox is generally a pretty good ISP

Mewmew
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Mewmew

They sure live up to their name!

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Heath Brown

I got a good laugh. Thanks.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

$

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

The people I mostly see this affecting are people that don’t know or care if their wallet is gouged, the people that say, “Give me the best service” and leave it at that.

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NecrococoPlays

Until they start throttling their speeds for users paying for basic services, to manufacture the “need” to upgrade.

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Heath Brown

I pay for the Cox Gigablast service (Gigabit). It has been a great service. So if they are telling me my gaming will be effected by a service I already pay the top price to have the top tier for, they are going to hear from me – A LOT.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Since you don’t own any politicians and they do, I doubt they will care but go for it and good luck!

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Heath Brown

Yea no doubt. Doesn’t mean I wont try though. :)

Marvin Marshall
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Marvin Marshall

It’s doubtful that this service would noticeably improve your gaming experience since Cox already great ping/latency/jitter. But it wouldn’t hurt to complain to them since you are already paying for their top speed.

I have a feeling this is targeting people who are on the lower end speeds that they offer. Since it would be cheaper to improve your latency/ping/jitter paying this service than it would be to jump up a tier.

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Venomlicious

Well without net neutrality they will legally throttle your service to force you to pay the extra. Funny how everyone thinks thing are great until it affects them. The rich get richer off your back.

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Heath Brown

Exactly, and thankfully there are competitors here I can legally switch over to.

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Tanek

You are extremely lucky, then. Most people have one main option where they live.

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Heath Brown

I know. Its a monopoly in most places. That said, Cox is the best provider here, so switching isn’t the most desired option. I’ll do it if I have to though.

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Darthbawl

Cox Cable the main service around here, did not even know about this until I saw this article.

Marvin Marshall
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Marvin Marshall

They just started it. I saw it for the first time this week when I paid my bill. It’s really a silly service to offer since Cox’s latency/jitter is already great for the mid-tier & above speeds. So any improvement is negligible.

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Jeremy Barnes

You’re assuming it will stay that way..

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Elections have consequences.

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Heath Brown

Oh man the last few years have just gotten terrible. I hope people are smarter in 2020.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

Yeah…

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Melissa McDonald

true that. we’d be in deep doo-doo if the other candidate won.

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

.

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