Netflix reduces bit rates while YouTube makes standard definition the default.
Netflix and YouTube are both reducing video-streaming quality in Europe to reduce the stress on residential broadband networks caused by the coronavirus pandemic forcing people to stay home.
Netflix is reducing the bit rate on video streams, but not the resolution, for the next 30 days in the EU and UK, the BBC reported. The BBC said that "movies will still be high-definition or ultra-high definition 4K" despite the bit-rate decrease, but other news sources suggest that resolution could be cut, too. It's not clear what the exact changes in bit rates are—we asked Netflix to clarify these points but haven't gotten an answer yet.
Net Neutrality concerns
The EU telling Netflix to reduce its bandwidth in the region is a test to Net Neutrality principles. The EU’s Net Neutrality rules vis-à-vis traffic management let this kind of application-specific discrimination happen in extreme cases, but it is not clear that Netflix’s traffic is actually clogging Europe’s internet. An Ookla analysis earlier this month showed that even as workers switched to remote working in hordes in Europe, fixed broadband speeds only declined slightly, or didn’t change at all. Traffic management during congestion should only be used when it is necessary, only for the duration needed, and should be as application-agnostic as possible, Barbara van Schewick had said in filings to TRAI. It is unclear if this change follows any of those conditions.
Amazon is working with local authorities to ensure broadband is steady.
We thought wired broadband could handle traffic as much it can, What's the point of Restricting -- Netflix, Youtube or Prime video.