Netflix to reduce streaming quality in Europe to avoid internet overload

    Netflix hopes this move will help reduce traffic overflow by around 25% in Europe.
    By: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
    | Updated on: Mar 20 2020, 09:51 IST
    Netflix logo is seen in front of diplayed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in this illustration taken March 19, 2020.
    Netflix logo is seen in front of diplayed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in this illustration taken March 19, 2020. (REUTERS)
    Netflix logo is seen in front of diplayed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in this illustration taken March 19, 2020.
    Netflix logo is seen in front of diplayed coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in this illustration taken March 19, 2020. (REUTERS)

    Netflix will reduce the quality of its streaming in Europe to ease pressure on the internet, the firm said, as demand soars across the continent where millions are confined to their homes over coronavirus fears.

    The streaming giant will "begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days," a spokesperson said in a statement.

    "We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 percent while also ensuring a good quality service for our members," the statement added.

    With wide-ranging lockdowns and quarantines, schools, shops and borders closed and gatherings banned, people across Europe are increasingly turning to the internet to stave off boredom. But the huge file sizes of high definition offerings from web giants like Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, HBO and Amazon are slowing the web, Thierry Breton, the EU commissioner for the internal market and digital economy warned.

    "Teleworking and streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain," he said in a tweet Thursday, calling for online platforms to switch to streaming in standard definition instead of HD.

    ALSO READ: Exhausted Netflix catalogue? Try these 6 streaming apps

    Gamers breathed a sigh of relief on Wednesday after the end of an hours-long network outage that affected Nintendo's online games and prompted despair from users.

    "Only a few days into the coronavirus self-isolation and Nintendo servers are already down... oh dear god," tweeted one.

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    First Published Date: 20 Mar, 09:51 IST
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