Facebook and Disney Reduce Video Quality Across Europe

Wednesday, 25 Mar, 2020

With people staying home during this coronavirus pandemic, the demand for internet traffic skyrocket.

Video streaming major Netflix and social networking giant Facebook are reducing bit rates for videos on their platforms as part of their efforts to help mitigate mobile and broadband network congestion amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Facebook is going to downgrade video streaming quality on its platform and on Instagram in Europe, the latest United States tech giant to respond to an European Union call to stave off Internet gridlock as thousands work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

"So we will provide relief to ISPs who are dealing with large government-mandated "shelter in place" orders by providing the 25% traffic reduction we've started in Europe", he said. Still, even if we have to wait patiently for full-fat 4K streams in all their glory, the service should have plenty of content (and enough quality) to whet the appetite of those looking for their next movie and TV series fix. "So whether you paid for Ultra-High Definition (UHD), High Definition (HD), or Standard Definition (SD), that is what you should continue to get (depending on the device you are using)".

A spokesperson for Google, which owns YouTube, said: "We will continue working with member state governments and network operators to minimize stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience". Whereas, Zee5 is also adhering to the changes, which are being deployed on the backend to support lower streaming quality to save data usage.

In turn, Facebook will reduce the video quality is not only in the eponymous social network, but also in Instagram.

The COAI further said that there are various measures that the streaming platform companies can undertake in the current situation.

The ministry said it had made a request to Netflix after internet service providers reported an increase of 20 to 30 percent in internet traffic. Instead, Netflix will be dropping the bitrate used for streams at those resolutions. To this request, several companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime Videos, Facebook, Disney+, YouTube, etc. have responded.