In order to relieve the network pressure of millions of people working at home, Netflix has followed the EU’s request to reduce the quality of its streaming video in Europe.
Netflix will reduce video quality in Europe in the next 30 days, according to the BBC. Netflix said the change will reduce data consumption by 25%, but viewers will still be satisfied with the quality of the images. To limit data usage, Netflix has reduced the bit rate, which can cause the video to look slightly blurry.
The European Union has previously reminded Netflix, youtube and other streaming media services that they need to consider the temporary decline of streaming media quality due to the large number of people working at home and using streaming media services. The EU wants streaming platforms to limit content to standard definition rather than HD, and also wants individual users to pay attention to their data consumption rate.
Many people in Europe now stay at home, leading to concerns that broadband connections may not be able to cope with the long days when adults attend video conferences and children attend online classes or play games. Italy is one of the countries most affected by the 2019-nCoV, with home broadband and mobile network traffic up 75% over the weekend.
Netflix hasn’t disclosed whether it will implement measures to reduce the bit rate in other countries, such as the United States, but it seems that the U.S. Internet providers haven’t asked for such measures at present. Earlier this week, the FCC allowed Verizon, T-Mobile and US Cellular to temporarily use additional spectrum to meet the growing demand for broadband access.