Youtube and Amazon Prime will drop their streaming quality in the EU to avert internet gridlock as millions of Europeans are confined due to the coronavirus outbreak forcing individuals to work from home. Alphabet Inc.’s (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Youtube and Amazon.com, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) prime video has followed Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) as they responded to the European Union chief Thierry Breton to drop picture quality to prevent an overload of the system.
The companies anticipate increased pressure as there is a nation-wide urge to practice social distancing and to stay home. Streaming video services account for a minimum of 60% of web traffic on fixed and mobile networks. The launch of Disney+ in Ireland, France, Britain, Germany, Spain, Austria and Italy may add extra stress.
“We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default,” YouTube said in a statement after Breton spoke to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki.
“Prime Video is working with local authorities and Internet Service Providers where needed to help mitigate any network congestion, including in Europe where we’ve already begun the effort to reduce streaming bitrates whilst maintaining a quality streaming experience for our customers,” a spokesperson said.
“In an ideal world, network operators would obviously upgrade their infrastructure and invest,” said Eric Broockman, chief technology officer of Extreme Networks, a U.S. network management company.