EU pressures Netflix to lower bandwidth during outbreak

EU pressures Netflix to lower bandwidth during outbreak

19 March 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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Thierry Breton, the European Union’s Internal Market and Services Commissioner has called on streaming services to take steps to prevent an internet gridlock in the wake of the Coronavirus.

Speaking directly to content providers such as Netflix and YouTube, Breton expressed his concern that such streaming service would have on communications networks given the increase in people working from home due to the virus.

“Streaming platforms, telecom operators and users, we all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation,” said earlier this week.

In a call, Breton urged Netflix CEO Reed Hastings transition its content from high definition to standard definition during peak times to try and ease the strain on the network as well as to help ease the stress on the telcos.

He also advised that users use appropriate settings and WiFi to reduce their data consumption.

In doing so, Breton asserts that the network will be better able to support emergency/healthcare needs, online teaching to name a few.

In a series of Tweets Breton reaffirmed this message using the hashtag #SwitchToStandard and calling out Netflix CEO Hastings directly.