The European Union has recently asked Netflix and other streaming platforms to stop streaming content in High Definition. Many European nations have been forced into lockdown due to the unprecedented coronavirus outbreak and this has caused internet usage to skyrocket across Europe. With hundreds of millions working from home, and even more children out of school, EU officials are concerned about the huge strain on internet bandwidth.
According to reports, European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who is responsible for the EU internal market covering more than 450 million people spoke to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings about this matter. Breton in a tweet on March 18 called people and companies to switch to standard definition when High Definition was not needed.
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.
As per reports, Netflix claimed that it already adjusts its streams to the available network capacity. It also added that it keeps the user's libraries closer to its users in an effort to consume less bandwidth. Facebook also announced on March 18 that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were stretching its resources to the limit.
According to reporters, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that the severe increase in demand was well beyond the annual spike seen during New Year's Eve. He added that voice and video on WhatsApp and Facebook messenger have doubled than their usual levels.
The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, has claimed more than 9,000 lives across the world and has infected over 2,20,000 people globally since it first broke out in December 2019. China is the most affected country in the world as experts believe that the virus originated from a seafood market in Wuhan city, the epicentre of the disease, where animals were reportedly being traded illegally. Italy and Iran are the other countries that are most affected by the virus outbreak.