EU asks Netflix and YouTube to limit video quality

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — EU officials have called on online movie theaters and video services such as Netflix and YouTube to opt-out of high-quality broadcasting.

This was explained by the fact that in the conditions when tens of millions of citizens switched to self-isolation due to the coronavirus pandemic, broadcasting films and TV shows in HD format puts an undue strain on the speed of the Internet connection. That means, if subscribers had to watch some good comedies or thrillers on Netflix, they would have to compromise on the streaming quality.

Streaming platforms and telecommunications companies are “jointly responsible for taking measures to ensure the smooth functioning of the Internet,” said Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Domestic Market Issues. According to him, users should also take a responsible approach to data consumption.

“To defeat the coronavirus COVID19, we stay at home. Remote work and streaming services help a lot, but the infrastructure can’t stand it,” Breton tweeted.

“To provide Internet access for everyone, let’s switch to standard resolution where HD format is optional.” He added that he had already discussed the situation with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

The EU is concerned that domestic broadband networks have been designed to cope only with evening traffic surges.

However, the round-the-clock workload, when adults discuss business issues in video communication, and children study online, play games and watch movies, the European Internet infrastructure can simply not stand it.

Earlier this week, Facebook’s head Mark Zuckerberg confirmed the sharp increase in workload, stressing that the number of calls through WhatsApp and Messenger has doubled in recent times.

Scott Petty, the technical director of the British operator Vodafone, said that the rush hour of Internet traffic now stretched from about noon to 9 pm.


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