Europe Urges Netflix to Lower Streaming Quality to Unclog the Internet

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA - OCTOBER 09: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings speaks during Netflix Slate Event
Daniel Muñoz/Getty Images for NETFLIX

The E.U. has reportedly urged streaming platforms such as Netflix and YouTube to reduce the quality of their streams in order to lighten the load being placed on the Internet by the increased number of people working from home due to the Wuhan coronavirus

MacRumors reports that the European Union has suggested that streaming platforms consider offering only standard definition video streaming in efforts to ease the strain being put on the Internet due to the increased number of people working from home because of the Chinese coronavirus.

European Commissioner in charge of digital policy, Thierry Breton, stated that streaming platforms and telecom companies had a “joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet.” A Netflix spokesperson acknowledged the potential issue but stated that it provides existing tools to ISPs to allow them to store its library closer to customers in order to ease the burden on digital networks.

“Commissioner Breton is right to highlight the importance of ensuring that the internet continues to run smoothly during this critical time,” the company spokesperson said. “We’ve been focused on network efficiency for many years, including providing our open connect service for free to telecommunications companies.”

Netflix’s “adaptive streaming” technology which adjusts the resolution of a video in relation to the available bandwidth in the home or local area also helps to ease the load on internet networks. On Tuesday, U.K. mobile networks suffered severe outages after the number of voice calls rose by 30 percent and overloaded systems. In the United States this week, the FCC permitted Verizon, T-Mobile, and US Cellular to temporarily use additional spectrum to meet increased broadband demand.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or email him at


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