Re: I thought Netflix had its own fat pipes
If the ISP refuses to peer and instead wants to double dip by charging the content provider for transit as well as the subscriber for receiving said packets then what is the content provider supposed to do? Eat the cost of paying that ISP? Make the subscribers from non-douchetastic ISPs subsidize those who subscribe to the greedy one?
Indeed, can that ISP who isn't directly peering even handle high-quality streams, if everything is going through a smaller pipe? Seems to me that lowering the quality is the only way the content provider has in that situation to ensure that their customers get a stream at all.
Perhaps the better route would have been to charge an extra fee to the content consumers to deal with the transit charges imposed by their ISP?
Let's be clear here: infrastructure owners should not be content providers. Infrastructure owners should be "dumb pipes" providing the best possible quality of internet access with zero discrimination for the best possible price. Under no circumstances should an ISP be allowed to play any sort of shenanigans with content providers, but doubly so if they are content providers providing a service that competes with one provided by the infrastructure owner.
Most people have a very limited choice of ISP - if any choice at all - and as such corporations which are providing access to a utility which is vital to participation in today's society should not under any circumstances be in a position to be accused of "conflict of interest." It should never even come up. If they are going to own infrastructure and content then it needs to be regulated such that conflict of interest is not possible. Otherwise, ban infrastructure providers from providing content services of their own.
Utilities must be nothing more than "dumb pipes". By they providing you electricity, natural gas or telecommunications.