With large swathes of Europe under lockdown, many families have turned to streaming video to make the quarantine bearable.

The new load on the internet has already raised concerns for Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, who earlier said people should “switch to standard definition when HD [high-definition] is not necessary”.

After meeting with Netflix, the company decided to help the cause by reducing the bit-rate it streams its content with by 25%.

“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 company said.

The special measures will only be in place for 30 days in the first instance and Commissioner Breton praised the “very prompt action” Netflix took just hours after the phone call, saying it would “preserve the smooth functioning of the internet during the Covid-19 crisis”.

via the BBC

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