In an effort to ease the strain on internet infrastructure, the European Union is asking that Netflix stream video to standard definition when necessary.
Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for internal market, tweeted that he had talked directly to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings to make his request.
Important phone conversation with @ReedHastings, CEO of @Netflix
To beat #COVID19, we #StayAtHome
Teleworking & streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain.
To secure Internet access for all, let’s #SwitchToStandard definition when HD is not necessary.
— Thierry Breton (@ThierryBreton) 3/18/20
Companies are already struggling to keep up with the added strain on networks. Microsoft has recently begun throttling non-essential Office 365 features to ease the strain on Teams. Facebook has similarly been struggling to keep up with the additional WhatsApp usage, as the app is currently being used even more than it does during New Year’s Eve, its normal peak usage period.
As the pandemic continues to force people to stay home and telecommute, additional companies will likely be called to take the same measures as Netflix.