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An Indiscriminate Internet?
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2006-06-13 15:58
Most of those supporting NN either purposely inflame or have been inflamed by the liberal use of the very perjorative words "discrimination" and "non-discrimination requirements" in the NN debate. Clearly in a human context, "discrimination" against people on the basis of things out of their control is wrong, deplorable and will never be defended here.
However, in an economic-regulation and network-design context, the term non-discrimination applied to a competitive marketplace is a misnomer. Promoting non-discrimination in a competitive market is essentially promoting an indiscriminate Internet.
In a competitive marketplace, non-discrimination economic regulation essentially outlaws differentiation, or the ability to customize, personalize, or tier products and services to meet the diversity of needs that consumers have. Consumers are not all alike, they have very different needs, wants and means. Non-discrimination regulation would gut the essence of a marketplace, the ability to respond to a variety of specific and different demands.
The more accurate and forthright derivative of the term in this competitive context would be INDISCRIMINATE. Non-discrimination = indiscriminate.
Does anyone really want an indiscriminate Internet?