Friday, April 26th 2019

Net Netrality Redux: COX Service Provider Launches "Elite Gamer" Fastlane Add-on Service

I'll abstain from commenting and just let you guys sort this news piece out: internet service provider Cox has introduced a new fast lane option to their internet service. Dubbed the "Elite Gamer" add-on, the optional $15 service will work to ensure gamers get the best possible experience in their favorite multiplayer games. According to Cox, this "hidden" fastlane for internet traffic will be routed through a gaming-centric routing network, which will allow for up to "34 percent less lag, 55 percent fewer ping spikes, and 45 percent less jitter" than its existing internet service.

Apex Legends, Fortnite and Overwatch are the current games being touted as having specific routing pathways, and this will work with absolutely no input from the user. Data packets from these applications will be automatically sorted and rerouted through Cox' servers, which also means that this service does exactly - and limitedly - what it aims to. There will be no other improvements to the overall "interneting" experience: it's a cool $15 for what amounts to (prospectively) higher K/D ratios. It remains to be seen what impact this actually has in the competitive scene, and whether or not the listed games' lag compensation techniques serve to even the playing field somewhat. Let me throw a small wrench into the equation here: more services like this will eventually appear, which may or may not be specifically geared towards gaming. Nothing prevents ISP's from creating application or content-specific data caps, for which you'll then have to purchase data bundles or subscription services (this happens in Portugal already, but it's mostly limited to mobile bandwidth). A bright, split-lane future awaits all of us.
Source: via Tom's Hardware
Add your own comment

97 Comments on Net Netrality Redux: COX Service Provider Launches "Elite Gamer" Fastlane Add-on Service

#1
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
I've paid less for snake oil
Posted on Reply
#2
Slizzo
I pay for Cox Gigablast service.

For what I pay, you'd expect no data caps. Welp, that ain't true. Still a 1TB data cap. Which is actually quite low in the days of 50GB game downloads, and 4K streaming.
Posted on Reply
#3
Konceptz
Never an issue on FIOS gigabit , plain ole fios gigabit..nothing special .......Xbox live, PSN, Steam, etc......
Posted on Reply
#4
DonKnotts
Slizzo said:
Still a 1TB data cap. Which is actually quite low in the days of 50GB game downloads, and 4K streaming.
I have 150GB a month limit. You could always have it worse.
Posted on Reply
#5
windwhirl
I'm still pissed off regarding my ISP 250 GB data cap.

I don't even want to think about my ISP looking into my Internet usage and trying to sell me a bundle for Twitter/Youtube/DA/etc.
Posted on Reply
#6
BakerMan1971
You just need a VPN that disguises itself as you looking at ads on Cox's homepage :D
It is as predicted customers can only vote with their wallets where possible.
Posted on Reply
#7
dozenfury
What an ugly road abolishing Net Neutrality has already taken us down. $15/mo for something that affects 3 games? Nowadays you really should be VPN'ing at least a lot if not all traffic anyway, which wouldn't work with this. I'd also ask why their base service is so bad if this improves it by ~50%.

That's the issue with Net Neutrality being gone, it's very easy for an ISP to make QoS rules slowing down specific traffic (like Fortnite/Overwatch/Apex in this case), then charge more. It's being sold as an improvement over base. But who's to say they don't just crank speeds for those 3 games down by 50% in QoS rules and then sell an add-on service for $15 that removes those limits. And that can and will be done for just about anything from games to Netflix, etc. Hence the need to VPN and keep prying ISP eyes off our data.
Posted on Reply
#8
R-T-B
Raevenlord said:
A bright, split-lane future awaits all of us.
Congress is looking to reinstate net neutrality rules soon. I hope they succeed.

Konceptz said:
Never an issue on FIOS gigabit , plain ole fios gigabit..nothing special .......Xbox live, PSN, Steam, etc......
If it continues to be allowed, you probably will eventually. The ISP is not your friend.
Posted on Reply
#9
the54thvoid
Apparently Cox are using another service that priorities gaming over other system resources, thus providing the improvement. They categorically deny any 'splitting' of their service.

Edit: uses GPN, Gamers Private Network, powered by WTfast?
Posted on Reply
#10
hat
Enthusiast
Specific routing pathways... yeah, okay. :kookoo:
Posted on Reply
#12
TheLostSwede
Every time I read a story like this, I'm so glad I don't live in North America. This kind of crap needs to end. Internet service providers should be just that and stop messing with things, adding caps etc. It's one thing to pay for different speeds, but the rest is a no go imho.
Posted on Reply
#13
sutyi
:laughs in gigabit internet + landline for $14.59/mo:

On a serious note tho... This is a bad thing especially where the bandwidth is almost saturated as it means they are throttling everybody else who does not subscribe tho this "service".
Posted on Reply
#14
Prince Valiant
R-T-B said:
Congress is looking to reinstate net neutrality rules soon. I hope they succeed.

If it continues to be allowed, you probably will eventually. The ISP is not your friend.
Apply to any big company.
Posted on Reply
#15
R-T-B
Prince Valiant said:
Apply to any big company.
Pretty much but I was keeping it relevant to the discussion at hand.

the54thvoid said:
Apparently Cox are using another service that priorities gaming over other system resources, thus providing the improvement. They categorically deny any 'splitting' of their service.

Edit: uses GPN, Gamers Private Network, powered by WTfast?
That makes it even more laughable.

hat said:
Specific routing pathways... yeah, okay. :kookoo:
It's not crazy talk. They legit want to set up high speed access to specific services and charge extra for it. Welcome to the non-net-neutrality future.

Although, it's also not what this is, if that's what your saying, yeah.
Posted on Reply
#16
neatfeatguy
Just think the day when ISPs start trying to charge for extra things such as dedicated connections to Netflix, Prime, Hulu and so on and they want customers to pay extra fees.....folks will start dropping these other subscriptions because they won't want to pay an extra $5/10/15 for a "dedicated" connection.

Changes like this won't just impact ISP customers, but all these companies the ISP will try to setup packages for will be impacted as well.

If Comcast comes out and says to keep streaming Netflix or Prime and so on, I'm cutting my subscription to those services and not paying Comcast anything extra for something I already had service for.
Posted on Reply
#17
sam_86314
Bunch of Cox they are...

Overpriced plans with data caps. I'm glad they don't serve my area.
Posted on Reply
#18
SoNic67
I had both Cox and FIOS as providers, with rates all the way up to "Giga".
All I want to say that the symmetrical nature of the fiber is something that cannot give up anymore. No need for "special" lanes because all the return lanes are fast and dedicated.
Cable internet has to deal with the inherent asymmetry of the technology plus sharing the paths. Personally I think is just fine that whomever need low latency to pay a premium. Pay your own share, stop whining that others should pay for that.
Same with the data caps. Not everyone streams 4K HDR, why should they pay for it? To make it cheaper for the ones that stream 4K HDR?

You don't like it, fine, get fiber. Or move somewhere else, if fiber isn't available. Parents always move in better school districts and pay a premium on housing. Twitch gamers can do the same to live in areas with fiber/FiOS.
Complaining about tiered pricing is like buying a Chevy Spark and complying that the "cheap", "greedy", GM won't give you a Corvette ZR1. As in they are not speed "neutral".

For me, at this point, a "lowly" 150/150MBps is plenty fast for the whole house.
Posted on Reply
#19
moob
the54thvoid said:
Apparently Cox are using another service that priorities gaming over other system resources, thus providing the improvement. They categorically deny any 'splitting' of their service.

Edit: uses GPN, Gamers Private Network, powered by WTfast?
Yep: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/04/cox-internet-now-charges-15-extra-for-faster-access-to-online-game-servers/
As pro-net neutrality as I am, that isn't an issue here. It's just Cox reselling an already questionable service.
Posted on Reply
#20
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
dozenfury said:
What an ugly road abolishing Net Neutrality has already taken us down.
For the short time that it was a thing, it never really got implemented in most places here. This kind of thing never really stopped. I know my service I also pay extra for the top tier, and did it throughout the so called net neutrality period. Nothing changed.
Posted on Reply
#21
R-T-B
SoNic67 said:
All I want to say that the symmetrical nature of the fiber is something that cannot give up anymore. No need for "special" lanes because all the return lanes are fast and dedicated.
Yeah, this isn't about upload.

There is no question upload is better on Fiber. There is no question copper cable is dated. There is an argument ISPs are dragging their feet implementing FTTH, but that's really not what this is about at all.

rtwjunkie said:
This kind of thing never really stopped.
It did, slightly. Verizon Wireless didn't throttle video service because the FCC told them to quit breaking rules. Now, they do again. And they charge you to have it removed.
Posted on Reply
#22
BoiseTech
So I'm torn, right. I Support NN as much as the next guy but...... This could be sold as a "paid fast lane, post NN crap" Or they could be enabling QoS and letting people pay for it. Literally better service for your specific use case. Does it apply to everyone? No. Should it be implemented for everyone if NN still existed? Also no.
Posted on Reply
#23
Assimilator
SoNic67 said:
I had both Cox and FIOS as providers, with rates all the way up to "Giga".
All I want to say that the symmetrical nature of the fiber is something that cannot give up anymore. No need for "special" lanes because all the return lanes are fast and dedicated.
Cable internet has to deal with the inherent asymmetry of the technology plus sharing the paths. Personally I think is just fine that whomever need low latency to pay a premium. Pay your own share, stop whining that others should pay for that.
Same with the data caps. Not everyone streams 4K HDR, why should they pay for it? To make it cheaper for the ones that stream 4K HDR?

You don't like it, fine, get fiber. Or move somewhere else, if fiber isn't available. Parents always move in better school districts and pay a premium on housing. Twitch gamers can do the same to live in areas with fiber/FiOS.
Complaining about tiered pricing is like buying a Chevy Spark and complying that the "cheap", "greedy", GM won't give you a Corvette ZR1. As in they are not speed "neutral".

For me, at this point, a "lowly" 150/150MBps is plenty fast for the whole house.
Strange how other countries can give their users a ZR1 for the price of a Spark then.
Posted on Reply
#24
SoNic67
Then move there.

And find out that even if the "price" of the Internet you think is better, the wages are also so much lower. So all in all, it costs you an equal amount of time in your life to pay for that service.
Plus you have to live in crowded cities, in blocks next to blocks, to allow for the economy of that cheap service delivery to work too.
Posted on Reply
#25
Penev91
Assimilator said:
Strange how other countries can give their users a ZR1 for the price of a Spark then.
Very true. I get 100/100 Mbps for around $5 and 240/200 fiber for around $13.

Whenever a go to the US and hear about internet availability, speed and costs I can't shake the feeling that there's an ISP cartel there and that everyone is getting scammed.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment