With all the sports and social events cancelled, many people – especially in Europe – are now finding themselves at home with a lot more time on their hands. So while this time could be used to complete those chores around the house, read a book, learn a new hobby or something more beneficial like that, it inevitably means that people have turned to online streaming to bide their time.
The only problem is that with so many people in Europe now watching the likes of Netflix, that’s putting a strain on their communication networks which, despite being significantly faster than our South African setup, are struggling to keep up with all the streaming. As a result, the European Union’s Internal Market and Services Commissioner Thierry Breton decided to call Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and request that Netflix reduce the streaming quality made available for European users to help reduce the strain on communications networks.
With Netflix defaulting all content to be broadcast on HD in Europe, it is obviously taking up significant bandwidth capacity and lowering the need to always maintain this level of picture quality, will help to reduce the amount of bandwidth it uses. Even if watching something at a lower resolution feels a little out of place.
Deadline is reporting now that Netflix has agreed to the request and is prepared to help lower the resolution requirements throughout Europe:
We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.
This move makes a lot of sense from all parties, though I’m not entirely sure it’s just Netflix that people are watching and that is using up all the bandwidth. If we ever hit this problem in South Africa, Netflix may need to lower their resolution qualities, even more, to be able to help our infrastructure keep up with everything.
Last Updated: March 20, 2020