Netflix Inc said it will cut traffic by 25% on networks across Europe in a relief measure for internet service providers (ISPs) experiencing a surge in usage.
Netflix said that last week, the European Union asked companies like Netflix, Amazon and YouTube to ensure that they were using telecommunications networks as efficiently as possible given the unprecedented demand they are facing.
Netflix developed, tested and deployed a way to reduce Netflix’s traffic on these networks by 25% - starting with Italy and Spain, which were experiencing the biggest impact. The company is now deploying this across the rest of Europe and the UK.
Netflix says that the action taken maintains the full range of video resolutions. So whether you paid for Ultra-High Definition (UHD), High Definition (HD), or Standard Definition (SD).
In normal circumstances, Netflix has many (sometimes dozens) of different streams for a single title within each resolution. In Europe, for the next 30 days, within each category the company has simply removed the highest bandwidth streams. If you are particularly tuned into video quality you may notice a slight decrease in quality within each resolution, according to Netflix.
..."we will provide relief to ISPs who are dealing with large government-mandated “shelter in place” orders by providing the 25% traffic reduction we’ve started in Europe. For other networks, we’ll stick with our normal procedures - until and unless they experience issues of their own," said Ken Florance, VP Content Delivery, Netflix Open Connect.
The world’s largest streaming media service had said on Thursday it would reduce bit rates across all of its streams in Europe, in effect cutting traffic on its European networks by 25% to preserve the smooth functioning of the internet during the coronavirus crisis.
Netflix had over 42 million subscribers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East at the end of the first quarter of 2019, showed an exchange filing, with the bulk estimated to be in Europe.
YouTube and Amazon.com Inc joined Netflix in responding to a call by European Union industry chief Thierry Breton to cut picture quality to prevent overload.
Walt Disney Co’s streaming service Disney+, which is set to launch in Britain and most major European markets on March 24, has delayed its launch in France by two weeks at the request of the French government.
Facebook also said on Sunday that it would temporarily reduce streaming rates for videos on its platform and also on Instagram in Europe to help alleviate any potential network congestion due to thousands of Europeans working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak.