YouTube, Netflix lower video quality in EU over Covid-19 crisis

Children watching videos on a laptop
Children watching videos on a laptopantiksuDepositPhotosDeposit Photos

With reporting by Byron Mühlberg.

Video streaming services Netlfix and YouTube both announced that they are temporarily lowering the quality of videos. This is to prevent too much pressure on the internet as Europeans work from home and spend time social distancing due to the coronavirus, RTL Nieuws reports.

Both services came to this decision after a call from the European Union. Telecom providers in Europe have reported a sharp increase in data traffic over the past days. Vodafone reported a 50 percent increase in some places.

YouTube said on Friday that they are “making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default.” Decreases in image resolution and bitrate were likely to remain for about a month, but it could be adjusted as the situation dictates.

Large Dutch internet service providers and the Amsterdam internet node AMS-IX assured that the network capacity in the Netherlands is sufficient to absorb the increase, even with more people spending longer periods of time at home.