Netflix To Reduce Streaming Quality In Europe Amid Increased Demand During Coronavirus
With more and more people across the continent staying at home - during work and leisure time - unprecedented strain is being put on the Internet.
European Commissioner Thierry Breton called for people to switch to standard definition when streaming 'to secure internet access for all' - just as people shouldn't buy truckloads of toilet paper to ensure toilet paper for all.
Now, Netflix has confirmed that it has taken action to ensure it's doing its part to ensure equal access by lowering bit rates.
Important phone conversation with @ReedHastings, CEO of @Netflix
To beat #COVID19, we #StayAtHome
Teleworking & streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain.
To secure Internet access for all, let's #SwitchToStandard definition when HD is not necessary.
- Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) March 18, 2020
In a statement, the company said: "Commissioner Breton is right to highlight the importance of ensuring that the internet continues to run smoothly during this critical time. We've been focused on network efficiency for many years, including providing our open connect service for free to telecommunications companies.
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"Given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus - Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days. We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 percent while also ensuring a good quality service for our members."
Yep, first coronavirus ruins sports, then the pub, and now Netflix. However, a spokesperson for the streaming platform added that not everyone would notice a perceptible difference in the quality of their stream.
But of course, we have to remind ourselves that such measures are being taken for the greater good, and Commissioner Breton praised the move.
According to CNN Business, he said in a statement that streaming platforms, telecom operators and users 'all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation'.
He added: "I welcome the very prompt action that Netflix has taken to preserve the smooth functioning of the Internet during the Covid-19 crisis while maintaining a good experience for users."
LADbible has contacted Netflix for comment.
It's okay to not panic. LADbible and UNILAD's aim with our Coronavirus campaign, Cutting Through, is to provide our community with facts and stories from the people who are either qualified to comment or have experienced first-hand the situation we're facing. For more information from the World Health Organisation on Coronavirus, click here.
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