ECA Joins Connected Nation For Gamer-Focused Universal Broadband Initiative

Illustration for article titled ECA Joins Connected Nation For Gamer-Focused Universal Broadband Initiative

The Entertainment Consumers Association, an advocacy group representing gamers, has joined up with nonprofit Connected Nation in support of universal broadband. The effort benefits gamers, says the ECA, because high-speed internet access for everyone supports access to online games and the growth of that industry.


Jennifer Mercurio, the ECA's government affairs director, said that it created the Gamers for Universal Broadband initiative in response to "member outcry" over internet access limitations interfering with games.

Through the joint initiative, the ECA joins Connected Nation's advisory committee. Full details follow the jump.

Connected Nation and Entertainment Consumers Association Join Forces for Universal Broadband

Connected Nation partners with leading gaming advocacy group to strengthen support for universal broadband

Washington, DC: Gamers across America continue to grow in strength as does their demand for access to high quality broadband. A slow Internet connection results in long delays and diminished strategies in the virtual gaming world. To promote universal access to high speed networks, Connected Nation, a national non-profit organization widely recognized for its ability to improve digital inclusion, and the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA), a non-profit membership organization established to serve the needs of those who play computer and video games, have joined forces through a national partnership.

"Connected Nation aims at promoting greater adoption of broadband services to improve the overall standard of living in our communities and the quality of life of citizens across America," said Brian R. Mefford, CEO of Connected Nation. "We're eager to partner with a preeminent organization such as ECA to work together to add the voices of hundreds of thousands of citizens to the call for programs and policies that will accelerate the impact of broadband in the United States."


"We are thrilled to collaborate with Connected Nation to promote consumer rights and make the Internet accessible to all," said Jennifer Mercurio, Director of Government Affairs at the Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA). "Our Gamers for Universal Broadband initiative was created in direct response to member outcry over limited broadband access across the country. Now is the time for consumers to get involved to ensure that we have a powerful voice in shaping the future of the Internet."

As national partner, ECA will join Connected Nation's Advisory Committee. The Committee brings together stakeholders in the broadband revolution, who come together to help promote the mission of Connected Nation.


The ECA is an advocacy organization for consumers of interactive entertainment. Gamers represent nearly fifty percent of the US population and spend $10 billion annually on gaming, yet as a group are continually overlooked by both politicians and the mainstream press. The mission of the ECA is to give game consumers a voice and to ensure that elected officials hear their concerns and appreciate the growing influence of the gamer demographic.

Connected Nation research has indicated that the U.S. economy stands to benefit by $134 billion annually by increasing the use of broadband and the technologies that are enabled when Americans have the ability and desire to connect.


About Connected Nation: Connected Nation ( is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization widely recognized for its ability to improve digital inclusion. Connected Nation expands access to and use of broadband Internet and the related technologies that are enabled when communities and families have the opportunity and desire to connect. For the United States, this means better education, more jobs, improved healthcare, more efficient government and a better quality of life.

Connected Nation has garnered international, industry-wide recognition as a best-practice model for technology expansion. The model relies on a public-private structure to accomplish extensive broadband asset mapping and to create customized local technology plans through grassroots eCommunity Leadership Teams. Additional programs include No Child Left Offline®, which places computers in homes that otherwise could not afford them.



Right now, my main personal issue is just that broadband in this area is... aggravating. The main reason being that you either have Verizon DSL (okay, not great, but okay), or Optimum Online, which is owned by Cablevision, which is great at CONSTANTLY jacking up their prices. Then they started offering their "Triple Play" deal (Cable TV, OptOnline Internet, and phone services, which seems to be VoIP). Nice offer, but if you had cable TV, you were screwed out. Now they're advertising it again, and stating it's available for their "special rates" for cable TV customers. Somehow I'm disbelieving that they'll be serving up two added services and allowing us to pay less for all three than for cable TV alone (no, I don't have all the stations, but I do have a decent amount, mainly to be able to watch the local sports teams). And of course, they refuse to let ANYONE know what the rates go up to after the special introductory rates end. So suffice to say, I'm hanging out on dial-up until I get some honest word from them. Plus, I don't even want to get started on Optimum Online's "We're Capping Your Bandwidth And Not Telling You" policy, which cuts you down to 10% of the bandwidth you've been paying for.

The main issue is, our (now former, thankfully) mayor signed a SEVEN-YEAR exclusivity deal with Cablevision, allowing them to be the ONLY cable provider in our town. This doesn't sound too bad, EXCEPT that this means that Verizon FiOS is not allowed either, because it's considered to be a cable TV service. So until the deal runs out, or our interim or next mayor can get us out of it, we can't get FiOS.

It's not that we're a small town... it's Bayonne, NJ. We're about 60,000 people, tucked in between Newark and Jersey City in NJ, and New York City. We CAN have FiOS, except for what our ex-mayor (who I could probably heap epithets upon for the next 8 pages) had done. And from what I've heard from people who have it, it's certainly something that's worth having. So we're stuck with this choice:

1) Get DSL and pay for service which can be so-so, plus be locked into a contract in some cases.

2) Get Optimum Online, worry about being capped if I do anything bandwidth-intensive, and pay rates which they refuse to disclose, but have been reported to be anything from $40-80/mo.

3) Wait for FiOS to finally be available and try to deal with a dial-up connection that likes to work at 50% speed at times.

As for right now, I'm going with #3... and I'm hoping that wait will be as short as possible.