Thank you for giving us the Netflix perspective.
That's not just the Netflix perspective. It's the perspective that most sane individuals have.
1) Residential broadband networks were never engineered as video delivery systems. The advent of mainstream streaming video completely changed the engineering calculus for last mile networks. Over subscription ratios need to change to accommodate the higher peak hour bitrates; this takes time and costs money. Where should this money come from?
Erm, even in the 1990s it was clear that point to point video was going to be an integral part of the internet. And I don't mean 'clear to me in hindsight', I mean clear to the guys selling fibre and switching gear to telcos and ISPs. I consulted with one of the largest and most advanced network equipment companies in the world, at one of their development labs. They were already talking about video on demand as a certainty in 1998, and rushing to get products to market.
If Comcast's management, in their infinite wisdom, were unable to see the writing on the wall 15 years ago, then they have only themselves to blame. The problem is that they have little incentive to invest aggressively, because they don't face substantive, effective competition in the majority of their marketplaces. So now, their complacency is such that they feel they have a right to bitch about the expense of providing a level of service that is well behind the state of the art in Europe, even lagging behind powerhouses like Estonia?
To answer your question, therefore: The money should come from reinvestment of profits. Just like it every other ISP and telco that has managed to leave them in the technological dust. If you plan to make the case that Comcast is somehow struggling to get by on the pittance they charge because of vanishingly small margins, then I'd suggest that the answer there is for them to give way to a company that actually knows how to make money in a sure-fire profitable business that features some of the more profitable corporations in the world. The fact is, they're making more and investing less than ever before.
Why should I pay the same for my connection as the household that's running three or four simultaneous HD streams during peak hours? My 95th percentile is less than 0.5mbit/s, yet I pay the same as my neighbor who regularly runs three HD streams at the same time. Hardly seems fair, does it?
You should pay the same because the baseline level of service should be minimum 10-20 Mbps these days. The fact that you use a vanishingly small percentage of that capacity should be your problem, not everyone else's. Pulling one or two video streams is baseline operability these days. For fuck's sake, I can do it and I live in the developing world in a place with some of the most obscenely high prices in the world!
I know that misery loves company, but just because your usage is unusually low is not justification for limiting the capacity of Comcast's entire customer base.