No knee jerking required. He's full of it. Okay maybe a little knee jerking because I'm not an expert on the technology involved so someone please chime in if I'm getting this wrong.
First, this isn't actually a peering deal. They're calling it that to make it look like something other than extortion on paper.
Peering agreements are the responsibility of the network provider, not the server operator. As he points out, a third party provides Netflix for network services. If there weren't already peering deals in place to cover the traffic coming from Netflix it wouldn't be getting to Comcast customers in the first place.
There's also a big lie in there disguised as a fact where he mentions the Open Connect program. That's where Netflix puts there content servers inside the cable company's network so the traffic doesn't have to cross those external connection points. I'm not sure exactly who is responsible for what operationally but I'm guessing the cable company gets paid to maintain the servers. Their VOD techs should already have the requisite skillset or something close to it.
The thing is Comcast has refused to participate in that program specifically because it would kill their argument that Netflix traffic causes congestion on the external links. It's a nonsensical argument to begin with since Comcast's subscribers are already paying for that but it disappears entirely if they go down that road.
Here's the good side though. The reality is there's a limited and shrinking future for consumer broadband to be profitable. The big profits today are in commercial network services. As the market pushes prices down to Earth, and it's starting already, albeit slowly, the big money will continue to shift to network services and local video hosting will likely be the biggest growth market because that's the most economical solution for everyone from international telecoms all the way down.
The longer Comcast waits to accept that and start adapting, the further behind the industry they're going to be when they pull their heads out of their backsides. Right now they probably have enough loose change in their seat cushions to get the ball rolling without any problems. If they wait until they're forced to do it things won't be nearly as pretty.