In a further reminder of how interconnected the modern world is, streaming companies have announced that they will limit the quality of video streams to address high demand for bandwidth. The moves are to keep the internet functioning as smoothly as possible while telecoms services are under particularly high demand, as thousands of people adopt social distancing measures in an effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus.
Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has switched all EU traffic on its Youtube platform to standard definition by default.
Meanwhile, Netflix has reportedly said it will reduce the capacity used by its streaming service by cutting streaming bitrates, while those paying extra for ultra-high definition 4K films will remain able to watch them.
Similarly, Amazon Prime has indicated that it is working with internet service providers, and has already reduced streaming bitrates in its service.
It is understood that the move comes following discussion with European Union officials.