The load on the data transmission network has a significant increase as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, when many people should stay at home and seek entertainment on the Internet due to quarantine restrictions. People have taken to watching far more video than usual as millions around the world are forced to work from home or self-isolate.
Last week, similar steps were announced by other streaming giants, including YouTube, Netflix, Amazon and Disney. According to Bloomberg, YouTube will reduce the quality of videos starting today in a bid to ease Internet traffic during the coronavirus outbreak.
EU Digital Commissioner Thierry Breton welcomes the decisions by Netflix and YouTube to reduce their videos down to standard definition quality in Europe for 30 days. In other words, it's the ideal time to stream movies and videos, perhaps with a lower quality setting so everyone can be safe at home and enjoy their entertainment, too. Netflix has also cut back on bit rates in India, but YouTube is the first in this group to extend this temporary policy worldwide. "So whether you paid for Ultra-High Definition (UHD), High Definition (HD), or Standard Definition (SD), that is what you should continue to get (depending on the device you are using)". Now, Netflix has explained how it plans to tackle the issue in a bit more detail.
"We will continue working with member state governments and network operators to minimize stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience", the statement said. The company's head of revenue and strategy, Soumya Mukherjee, said in a statement that the company has removed the option to download 1080p videos already and is now working to reduce the maximum streaming resolution to 720p.
Collectively, streaming platforms account for a major chunk of global Internet traffic. The company said that they deployed a way to reduce traffic by 25% in Italy and Spain, and are implementing it across the United Kingdom and the EU. The chief content officer at Netflix has also stated, it may slow down streams around the world depending on requests from local authorities.