(CelebrityAccess) — Streaming video service Netflix announced plans to reduce the quality of their streams in Europe for the next 30 days in order to help reduce network traffic.
In a statement to Business Insider, Netflix said: “Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings – and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus – Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days. We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 percent while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.”
The move follows a request by European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who called on digital content providers such as Netflix and Amazon to cut back on traffic in order to reduce strain on European broadband networks which have seen heavy use during the pandemic.
In a statement on Thursday, Breton said that in light of the unprecedented situation, streaming platforms, data carriers and users “have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation.”
Netflix says its standard definition videos use about 1 GB of data per hour, while HD video is triple that, consuming about 3 GB/hour.
In 2019, the Global Internet Phenomena Report from Sandvine, a bandwidth management company, said that Netflix accounts for approximately 13% of overall Internet traffic.
The Commission said there has been a sharp increase in internet usage in Europe since the pandemic began but that as of yet, there have
“At this stage, new traffic patterns are being effectively handled by engineers as per standard network operations,” European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association Director General Lisa Fuhr said. “We support the European Commission’s effort to ensure that national governments and national regulators have all the tools they need to keep networks strong across the continent.”