Netflix has confirmed it is limiting the streaming quality of its video content in Europe to reduce the burden on phone and broadband networks, as millions begin working from home.
According to a report from the BBC, Netflix has lowered the quality of its video in Europe and will continue to do so for the next month, designed to reduce data consumption by 25%.
Netflix says the change shouldn’t have too much of an impact on users, and that they will still be “satisfied” with the quality of the picture streamed into their homes. This new change applies to all users, even those who pay extra for Netflix in Ultra High Definition and 4K.
Speaking of the changes, Netflix said: “Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and [Netflix chief executive] Reed Hastings, and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus, Netflix has decided to begin reducing bitrates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days.”
The changes come after the European Union asked YouTube, Netflix, and other giants to introduce restrictions to streaming quality, as an “abnormally large” number of users were working from home and watching content on their TVs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets.
With millions of users working from home who do not usually, broadband and mobile providers have issued concerns that they will struggle to cope with a demand for their services during peak periods.
In Italy, for example, there has been a 75% increase in broadband and mobile network traffic since the outbreak began, putting strain on services.
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