Netflix has confirmed that it will reduce its streaming quality in Europe for the next 30 days to help minimize network congestion amid the spike in demand for content. The streaming service says the latest move is expected to cut its network traffic in the region by 25%.
The move comes after a tweet by EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton asking everyone to lessen their bandwidth consumption during the coronavirus pandemic. The goal is to help ensure the smooth functioning of the internet for all, Breton says.
Important phone conversation with @ReedHastings, CEO of @Netflix— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) March 18, 2020
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.
In a statement, Netflix says:
“Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe. We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.”
It remains to be seen, though, whether other streaming services will follow the same move. The pandemic has forced everyone across the world to practice social distancing and teleworking to avoid the virus from spreading further. As a result, internet usage worldwide has exponentially soared as people have increasingly turned to the internet for entertainment and work.