Officials Ask Netflix to Throttle Streaming and Save the Internet

This what happens when everyone is asked to stay home

Why This Matters:

The need for self-isolation and social distancing during the COVID-19 Pandemic has led to an unprecedented strain on the Internet. There is no end in sight and your Netflix experience could soon change.

Watching Netflix
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European officials want Netflix to stop streaming HD content before it breaks the Internet, according to a report in CNN.

Update: Netflix decided on Thursday afternoon to reduce bit rates across Europe for the next 30 days, according to the BBC. The company has not yet announced plans to take similar measures in the U.S.

Over capacity: Netflix and other streaming video providers, as well as many video conferencing services like WebX and Zoom, are seeing massive surges in usage. While no one has been reporting major outages or complaining that their Internet services in Europe or the U.S. are vastly under-performing, there is real concern that the Internet might not be up to the strain.

If you have to choose: Netflix is being targeted because it’s the most popular streaming service. It’s also probably considered non-essential compared to web conferencing, business communication, and cloud-based document and data services.

By the Numbers

What you can expect: For now, Netflix has made no formal announcements about adjusting stream quality. It told CNN that the EU is right to highlight these concerns, but it’s also been “focusing on network efficiency for many years.”

Bottom Line: With the COVID-Pandemic far from over and more people being forced to work from home every day, the Internet is about to get pushed harder than ever before. We may have to adjust our Netflix expectations, along with the performance of many other online services.

Via: CNN Business

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