As people remain stuck at home self isolating during the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a spike in internet usage in European countries. After EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton asked streaming sites to lessen their bandwidth usage during the crisis to assist critical government functions and maintain the network service, Netflix and Amazon Prime Video temporarily reduced streaming bitrates in Europe. Similarly, YouTube also switched streaming quality in Europe to SD to reduce the network load.
Now, Facebook stated on Sunday that it will also temporarily reduce streaming rates for videos on its platforms and also on Instagram to reduce the load on the internet as millions of Europeans have switched to working from home during the pandemic. A company spokesman said:
We are committed to working with our partners to manage any bandwidth constraints during this period of heavy demand, while also ensuring people are able to remain connected using Facebook apps and services.
In an effort to curb the virus, tech companies are also offering assistance to the worst-struck countries including Italy and Spain.