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EU Urges Streaming Services to Limit HD Viewing in Order to Preserve Internet Bandwidth

Stephanie Sengwe

Since most countries are advocating for social distancing, the amount of time spent streaming is naturally expected to go up. As such, the European Union is urging streaming services such as Netflix to stop showing videos in high definition in order to prevent internet bandwidth from slowing down.

EU internal market and services commissioner Thierry Breton revealed he had spoken to Netflix chairman and CEO Reed Hastings regarding the concerns. Breton urged users, as well as companies, to use standard definition whenever possible in order to secure internet access for all.

Breton also said “streaming platforms, telecom operators and users all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation,” CNN Business reports.

“Commissioner Breton is right to highlight the importance of ensuring that the internet continues to run smoothly during this critical time,” a Netflix spokesperson said. “We’ve been focused on network efficiency for many years, including providing our open connect service for free to telecommunications companies.”

So far, the Commission noted that although there has been a spike in internet usage, no outages have been reported.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also revealed that the platform has been loaded with users, with voice and video calls on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger spiking to more than double their usual levels.