Re: What the hell...
You have an analogy problem there. It's not the petrol that's important (that's like the "bits 'n bytes" side of it) it's the distribution side that's more like the networks.
Now if every petrol station were the cheapest, most basic, unattended card payment type, serving only base-spec 95 RON* you'd have a point. Unfortunately for your analogy the fuel companies reckon there's money in the "added value" side, hence the shops, coffee bars, attendants, car washes, vacuum cleaners, graded fuels et. al.
Maybe data networks are like vehicle fuel and there's a world where both dumb and "value added" offerings can coexist. Certainly round here, the fact that the unattended, "dumb pipe" stations serve your fuel somewhere between 5 and 10 cents a litre cheaper than the attended ones has not driven the attended, "value added" ones out of business. Sometimes people are prepared to pay a bit more for bells and whistles.
*Oil-burner drivers? STFU and take it as read there's another nozzle pushing some DERV blend there too.