Re: If I'm reading this correctly.....
Verizon has lots of eyeballs, the eyeballs _pay_ Verizon to see things on the Internet.
Verizon has two choices, peer with the content so their eyeballs can see it cheaply, pay a higher rate for transit or transit themselves.
Peers usually want a reciprocal agreement, the same amount of traffic both ways or sometimes cheaper than normal asymmetrical connections because it can make good business sense on a case by case basis.
However in this case Verizon has another desire to sell they're own content to their captive eyeballs and make more cash, so if Netflix service is poor, it means more churn and more eyeballs will go with their offering making them more money.
This is classic net neutrality. ISPs are becoming content providers and they want to sell you their content as it is cheap to provide, therefore, making competitors offering look bad with latency or bursty traffic, means they sell more of their own.
Cogent has always been content heavy, selling cheaper connections to web hosting companies for instance, where as the networks providing the transit to ISPs, such as L3 have balanced traffic which has resulted in peering "issues" between Cogent and big transit providers. This means Cogent will most likely have free or low rates for peers with lots of eyeballs as; it makes it easy for them; they won't have to negotiate with transit providers; it saves the other party money too.
Verizon seems to be forgetting that this is not a normal settlement free peering issue as they're not transiting the traffic, the eyeballs are their customers.