Netflix viewers in the EU will soon notice a dip in their streaming quality.
According to Netflix, the company is to reduce its video bitrates in Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to cut Netflix’s bandwidth across the EU by around 25 percent to ensure internet traffic continues to run smoothly during this global outbreak.
With people around the world being urged to stay home, streaming services are expected to be a major source of entertainment for those practicing social distancing in order to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The reduction in streaming quality in the EU is expected to last at least 30 days.
European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Thierry Breton requested that Netflix help reduce strain on the EU’s internet infrastructure. According to Breton, he spoke over the phone with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to share his concerns. He also urged consumers to switch from HD to standard definition to help alleviate possible internet issues.
Concerns regarding internet bandwidth issues are certainly well founded, especially when a mass number of users are streaming HD-quality Netflix content. The video streaming company alone a whopping 15 percent of the world’s internet traffic, according to a study conducted in late 2018. And that’s under normal circumstances when people are able to go about their lives and attend offline, outdoor activities.
As more people turn to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Hulu, and other streaming services during this pandemic, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a broader call to reduce stream quality to save bandwidth in other areas around the globe.
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