said by Skippy25:
Netflix wouldnt be paying for "this" bandwidth to begin with.
They have their peering agreement with Level 3, whom is the biggest provider of bandwidth in the world and the cost of the added traffic for higher resolution is marginal.
They dont need to have any agreement with ISP's and can send all the traffic they need over the consumer's ISP that they consumer wants to consume and there is not a single thing the ISP can do or say. Netflix is trying to save themselves money with Level 3, but they are also saving the ISP money as well as they too have peering agreements affected that the traffic will transit if they dont have caching servers. They are also allowing the ISP to provide better service to a very popular application that 20+ million people use. That makes the ISP's customer happy and makes them look good for doing the very thing they should do.... deliver the packets you request.
The way I understand it (I might be wrong) Netflix's peering with Level 3 is not an issue since the session never goes through Level 3 in the first place. Netflix is placing servers on the ISP's network and thus the complete session is on the ISP's network with no part of it being on the Internet.