Netflix, YouTube to reduce streaming quality in Europe to prevent internet congestion amid Coronavirus, EU also authorises ISPs to throttle Internet speeds
Streaming giant Netflix has agreed to reduce its streaming resolution in Europe, including UK, from high definition streaming to standard definition. The move comes in response to an appeal to streaming companies by Thierry Breton, European Union Internal Market and Services Commissioner, to reduce their streaming quality so as to keep the Internet from collapsing due to overloading.
Close on the heels of Netflix agreeing to scale down its streaming resolution, Google's video-sharing search engine YouTube has also responded positively to the EU Commissioner's appeal and agreed to pull down its streaming quality to standard.
High definition streams require more online bandwidth, which lead to broadband congestion during peak times.
Breton reminded streaming giants that a vast number of people in European countries have been forced to work or study from home, with corporates offices and universities shut down indefinitely to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. At such a time, streaming platforms must do their bit in keeping networks from being overloaded or, in a worst-case scenario, ultimately collapsing.
Additionally, in a related development, the EU's governing body, the European Commission, and the Body of the European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) have authorized the European Union's telecom operators and internet service providers to apply whatever measures are needed to prevent network congestion, including the throttling of online speeds.
The unprecedented authorization comes in the wake of escalation broadband demand as millions of Europeans are forced to stay home and use online collaboration and teleworking tools amid the coronavirus.