Netflix and YouTube are dropping stream quality to reduce the strain in Europe’s ISPs

Netflix and YouTube are dropping stream quality to reduce the strain in Europe's ISPs

Netflix and YouTube are dropping stream quality to reduce the strain in Europe’s ISPs 

With so much of Europe’s population practices self-isolation, the demand for Internet services has never been greater, be it for gaming, video streaming or audio/video communications. 

With rising internet usage, the European Commissioner, Thierry Breton, has called for teleworking and steaming services to do what they can to decrease their bandwidth usage during this period of high demand. So far, both Google and Netflix have answered the call. 

Netflix has taken the boldest move by reducing the bitrate of their streaming service by 25%, lowering the quality of its video streams while maintaining the same resolutions of 1080p and 4K. This change will be in effect for the next 30 days across Europe and the United Kingdom. This action was taken within hours of Netflix being contacted by the Commissioner. 

YouTube has followed suit by announcing that YouTube will soon play video content in Europe at standard definition resolutions by default. This change will take effect weekend, but YouTube users will be able to change their videos to higher definition streams if they desire.  

Other streaming services like Amazon Prime, Britbox and other competitors are likely to follow the lead of Netflix and YouTube and reduce the bandwidth requirements of video streaming. At this time, both Netflix and YouTube have revealed no plans to make these changes outside of Europe.  

Netflix and YouTube are dropping stream quality to reduce the strain in Europe's ISPs  

Vodaphone, one of Europe’s largest telecommunications providers, has reported a 50% rise in internet usage across Europe. This increase in internet usage has the potential to put a considerable strain on some of Europe’s service providers. Limitations on streaming services like YouTube and Netflix will help reduce this load, especially if Internet usage continues to rise. 

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