Netflix is set to ease the strain on internet service providers in Europe by reducing the streaming quality of all content on their massively popular platform.
According to BBC News, Netflix is set to reduce the quality of their content to lessen the strain upon internet service providers. The excessive strain is a result of COVID-19, as the majority of the UK is in some sort of self-isolation or social distancing. The amount of television watching and streaming has actually gone up exponentially. If the quality of Netflix’s quality is reduced, it would release internet service providers from a burden that they’re not necessarily equipped to deal with.
The chances are set to take place in the United Kingdom and a few other European countries for up to 30 days. The reduction may extend past the 30-day marker, but it, of course, depends on how the COVID-19 predicament unfolds in the coming weeks.
To put all of this into perspective, Netflix is planning on reducing its streaming bitrates. Bitrates are responsible for decreasing the pixelated look of content, and they work very well, but they, unfortunately, use up a lot of data.
It’s important to note that high definition streaming and 4K streaming will continue as normal (for people who pay for these services anyway).
According to the European Commissioner of the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, Netflix users should be taking the initiative to switch from high definition streaming to standard definition streaming on their own. According to experts, it’s a 2GB/hour difference for every user.
Breton and other high ranking officials have praised Netflix for their quick action in these tough and unprecedented times.
North America is seeing increased levels of usage across several large internet platforms, but there has been no news with respect to bitrate reductions happening outside of the UK.