As one of those dutch consumers - not so much. While i do totally understand and subscribe the need of net neutrality, this example already shows it is not always in the consumers best interest.
Another dutch provider (KPN, market leader) wanted to do this a few years ago, and ran into the same legal issue. Their final solution(s): 1. increase all data with all plans and 2. sell a discounted spotify subscription that came with 'free' additional data, the latter apparently being a legal solution.
This (net-neutrality thingy) was well known in the Netherlands, and T-Mobile should have been aware of this. I do recall seeing their advertisements for this unlimited streaming plan 2 months ago, just before i left the country, and already wondered how they would legally do this. Now i know the answer - they don't.
But back to the consumer - i'm not sure if consumers are better of as 'heavy users' are forced to premium plans just for their streaming needs. Then again, data plans in Holland (and in Europe in general) seem to be a lot cheaper than in the USA. This may partly be due to fragmentation - most plans in Europe are national, for a Europe-wide plan you'd pay a premium and streaming when abroad is more or less out of the question since you easily pay $10 for 100MB on the other side of your national borders. - and partly because of more competition - the Netherlands has a multiple of providers compared to the USA where only 3 providers seem to control the market. (Having said that, in Netherlands only 3* providers have their own network (*4 if you count in tele2), the rest are resellers).
Concluding: you can get anything as long you pay up. The more casual users are either left in the cold or forced to pay a premium for service they don't use. The market is not free to bind users in a way they see fit, because of some arbitrary legal requirement.
Well, you are right on most things, just this purist view brings the user nowhere. It's the old 'in an ideal world all lawyers would be jobless'...
And the example of windows is very wrong. A tonload of drivers for windows 7, hell, even drivers for vista and XP, just work on the latest windows 10. Simply because they have a well defined driver model. A thousand reasons to dislike Microsoft, but their driver model is not one of them.
It is not only a matter of developer resources. It is also that Linux is still a 'wild west' where anything that works might change in any newer version. And while the kernel maintainers have recognized this issue and proven a more stable ABI since kernel 2.6, some arbitrary projects still have a very egocentric view of the world.. Not to mention the zillion different distro's out there. Even the most well-willing hardware providers (and don't say that AMD and Intel and others aren't as they all showed tremendous effort) run against this wall of chaos...
And why, as end-user, do i care this? I need something that works. A newer version of xorg was apparently more important to drivers compatibility for the package maintainers. For me as user it was the other way around. And it is not trivially possible with Ubuntu to use an older version of xorg.
To elaborate on that: somewhere along the road the xorg developers decided to break something. How hard is it to design something and keep it (forward) compatible? Apparently for xorg very hard. I totally am ready to believe they had their reasons to do so, but you simply cannot expect all other involved developers to run behind them, within months, if they make make a change breaking stuff, totally ignoring the significant amount of testing the AMD developers would have to do. And surely the AMD developers still get the blame simply because they are 'closed source'.
From an idealistic stance of view, you are totally right. In an ideal world those drivers would be open source. From a practical stance of view, developers all over the world, both open and closed source, are hands tied down on license or agreements. And users just want something that works, not necessarily the latest greatest shiniest.
In case of Ubuntu 16.04 the AMD user is left in the cold, no matter who to blame. And this is why people who say 'Linux will never be ready for the desktop' are proven right. I did, and do, use and love Linux but in all fairness it has been a constant struggle, swimming upstream, because design decisions like those are not made from a user stance of view, and because i do not want to dedicate my life to the OS running on my computer. I just want to use my computer.
Pound for pound, the amoeba is the most vicious animal on earth.