The coronavirus outbreak is straining more than one type of infrastructure and the EU is calling on people to lower their Internet usage.
Using the hashtag #SwitchToStandard, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton is asking European Netflix and other streaming services’ users to start viewing content in lower quality.
Breton says that, by streaming content in standard instead of HD, everyone in Europe could continue to enjoy “secure Internet access for all.”
He also told Politico that he already talked to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings and will have a follow-up discussion in the next few days.
“Streaming platforms, telecom operators and users, we all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation,” Breton said in the statement provided to Politico.
Important phone conversation with @ReedHastings, CEO of @Netflix— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) March 18, 2020
To beat #COVID19, we #StayAtHome
Teleworking & streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain.
To secure Internet access for all, let’s #SwitchToStandard definition when HD is not necessary.
On their side, Netflix already responded to assure people that the company has long investe in network efficiency and supported commissioner Breton’s idea.
“Commissioner Breton is right to highlight the importance of ensuring that the internet continues to run smoothly during this critical time,” said a Netflix rep in a Financial Times statement.
Fortunately, so far there haven’t been any Internet outages, but perhaps the idea to #SwitchToStandard might be worth implementing, especially to those who use their TV as background noise during the quarantine.
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