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Cox launches the first gaming-optimized internet service and it is worrying

When the FCC scrapped net neutrality legislation in 2017, many media and analysts warned that it was only a matter of time before a company took advantage of the situation to establish a so-called "fast lane" or an optimized internet connection.

And today it's finally time.

First reported by Brian Crecente on Variety, an American internet provider called Cox introduces a new package for subscribers, called Cox Elite Gamer, which is 34% less, offers 55% fewer pingpikes and 45% less jitter for its subscribers who play PC games such as Fortnite, Overwatch and Apex Legends.

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The service, which is only available to Cox subscribers in the state of Arizona for the next three months for a trial run, works by anyone who subscribes an "optimized path" to use the game server with a white-labeled version from wtfast.

To participate, you must subscribe to one of the Cox internet service packages, which range in price from $ 59.99 to $ 119.99 / month, and then switch to the Elite Gamer package for an additional $ 14. 99 / month.

According to a statement from Cox sent to TechRadar, subscribers to the Cox Elite Gamer service then download software and log in to their favorite game via the software. The software routes the player via a more efficient internet path to the game servers, resulting in an improved experience for gamers.

According to information on the Cox website, the service will connect you to "thousands of popular game servers" and include images from Fortnite, Overwatch and Apex Legends – although the telecom says this series of games could change in the future.

34% better for some or 34% worse for everyone?

What Cox wanted to emphasize with TechRadar is that you don't pay for prioritized traffic or higher connection speeds – only a more optimized connection through the Elite Gamer software. According to Cox, that is not illegal and would be allowed, regardless of current legal laws.

But that raises the question: if a better connection to the server of a game is possible, why isn't that the standard network path?

That's what a Cox spokesperson said, "Cox Elite Gamer solves a problem with shortcomings in the public internet, NOT our network." No customer experience has deteriorated due to the fact that customers purchase Cox Elite Gamer service as an add-on to their internet service. "

That said, we have a continuing concern that packages such as Cox Elite Gamer set a dangerous precedent for paying extra for better access that could ever apply to all aspects of the internet, from social media to streaming video, all of which have their own could have & apos; optimized connection. & apos;

While proponents of fast lanes claim that less government regulation is a good thing and that fast lanes can promote competition between carriers, the general fear among consumers is that cable companies will use their oligopoly and use fast lanes as a wedge to use the internet. Even worse, it could force consumers to choose which parts of the internet they have access to.

Although Cox does not lead to blocking or limiting connections to game servers at all, it charges more for a service that may have been available to everyone and might have been available.

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