EU ISPs Can Throttle Internet Service During COVID-19 Crisis

With millions at home in Europe, the need for steady Internet is great than ever

Why This Matters:

What happens in Europe during the COVID-19 pandemic, which felt the impact of the virus spread first, will surely make its way to the U.S. The Internet, which we’re over-stressing with stay-at-home measures, could slow down everywhere.

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Just hours after asking Netflix and YouTube to stop offering the HD video option for their video streaming services, the European Union is authorizing ISPs and telcos to throttle broadband access to save the network and avoid congestion.

Being cautious: After one EU commissioner urged Netflix to lower video quality (it complied, as did YouTube), the EU is taking further measures to ensure that while millions stay isolated and/or quarantined because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internet doesn’t collapse.

Still running: Thus far, there haven’t been any wide-spread reports of outages, but that could change since the Pandemic is far from over.

It’s Still Neutral: The EU specified that while ISPs can throttle Internet performance, they still have to follow Net Neutrality guidelines and treat all services equally, which basically means slow them down all the same.

Looking Elsewhere: In the U.S., where a cascade of shelter in place and stay at home dictums have rolled out in, the Internet may soon feel the strain. Measures like the ones the EU is taking could be implemented here, as well. It’s worth noting the Net Neutrality rules no longer exist here, so the throttling might not be applied uniformly.

Bottom Line: While we work remotely and generally stay at home, the Internet is our lifeline to work, family, and the outside world, in general. We should be prepared for services and ISPs to do what’s necessary to avoid congestion and collapse.

Via: Hollywood Reporter

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