How is it illegal to do what they did? The part your missing and overlooking is that Netflix approached Comcast in this deal. You are also ignoring that everyone else has been dealing in this manner for years. By years, I mean way before Net Neutrality was the hot buzz word of the day. I love how Net Neutrality has shifted from the concept that providers can not block content(which they are not) to now they are blocking BW(again which they are not). Here, if you think this was a strong arm to get Netflix to pay for something that nobody else is paying for, let me provide you some data...http://bgp.he.net/AS2906#_peers
So by your standard, all of those companies listed on there should not be connecting directly to Netflix. Correct?
How many of those peers listed do you think are working free of charge?
Do you know how much any given ISP spends on infrastructure upgrades? Funny, I didn't see you commenting when the company you love to hate just rolled out more than double the speed at no additional costs. I'll tell you, it was mighty nice to have my speed at my house jump from 50 to 105 and not see an increase in my bill. And that speed is proven both on and off network. The difference between using their on-net speedtest server and going to Ookla, differs by maybe 1-2Mb. Nothing substantial. That means that the infrastructure out to the public network must be capable of providing as advertised speeds.
Go ahead...fill me in. I'll be waiting...