"What Mr AT&T seems to have somehow overlooked in his little diatribe is that - Netflix do pay bandwidth costs - just like every other service on the internet - in order to get their data piped across the public internet - they pay someone, probably multiple someones."
I doubt he's overlooked it, and as the FCC's consulting on this at the moment, expect more opinions from the involved parties. Level 3's been complaining as well-
"To honor the promises they make consumers, these ISPs must then connect their networks to the other networks that can supply any Internet content the ISPs cannot provide themselves (which is most of it). It also means that as overall Internet content gets bigger (think of HD movies versus e-mails), all providers must “augment” their networks – making them bigger to accommodate the exponential growth due to the Internet’s success."
The problem is still a split set of contractual obligations and payments. Netflix pays Level 3 to deliver content, so presumably if that content can't be delivered, Level 3 should be expected to pay some of the costs to make sure it can. Consumers then have contracts with Netflix to deliver content, and pay Netflix; and consumers also have contracts with their ISPs to deliver 'up to xxMbps' of Internet with some SLA attached.
Content providers like Netflix, and transit providers like Level 3 & Cogent then assume that because the user is paying their ISP, all costs for delivering content should be borne by the user. Access provider networks like AT&T are suggesting the content providers should contribute more towards the costs of delivering their content. If the FCC disagrees, the access ISPs are going to have to recover increased costs from their customers, or switch more towards usage charging models to avoid penalising light users. The content providers aren't taking their positions for the good of the 'net though, they're doing it to avoiding having to pay.