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Streaming Quality In Europe Cut By YouTube And Netflix In Europe To Reduce Network Load

Streaming Quality In Europe Cut By YouTube And Netflix In Europe To Reduce Network Load
The quality of videos that are streamed by Netflix Inc. and Google’s YouTube will be reduced by both the companies in Europe so that pressure on the networks is relieved as more people go online because of lockdown in many cities in the region to prevent the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
This decision was taken by the tech giants after separate meeting between the European Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton and Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai and YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki and Netflix Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings.
YouTube has announced that all traffic in Europe will be temporarily switched to standard definition by default for a period of the next 30 days, the video streaming social media platform said.
“We will continue working with member state governments and network operators to minimize stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience,” YouTube said in a statement. The company added that only a few usage peaks have been seen so far in the region by the company.
On the other hand, the Silicon Valley-based company Netflix said in a statement that bit rates across all its streams in Europe will be reduced by it soon and that would continue for a month.  “We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while also ensuring a good quality service for our members,” the company said.
Across most of Europe, schools, businesses and restaurants have been temporarily closed down because of the spread of Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, which has forced millions of people to stay back at their homes. Companies have noted that while such a huge population that has been forced to stay indoors are now using online services like Netflix and YouTube for entertainment.
Last weekend, there was a 20 per cent spike globally in the amount of time people had spent in watching video streaming. The rise included a 40 per cent spike in time spent on video streaming services in the countries of Austria and Spain. However, even though there has been an increase in traffic, there haven’t been any signs of congestion in Europe, said European Union telecom regulators, and added that operators are apparently coping well with the situation.
But a way to reduce the pressure on the networks was still being sought by officials.
The action taken by Netflix and YouTube was welcomed “to preserve the smooth functioning of the internet during the Covid-19 crisis,” said Breton.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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