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Netflix and YouTube lowers streaming quality in the EU

The European Union wants broadcast services like Netflix to limit their services to reduce strain on broadband networks, it reported Thursday.

The European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services

Thierry Breton said such platforms should consider offering content in standard definition only, which consumes less bandwidth than HD content, which is often the default for viewers.

Breton said he had a "Important phone conversation" on the matter with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.


Hastings and Breton will resume the conversation today. "Commissioner Breton is right to stress the importance of ensuring that the Internet continues to function smoothly during this critical time." a Netflix spokesperson told CNN.

Breton's suggestion comes at a time when broadband networks in the U.S. And Europe is under greater pressure, as thousands of workers work from home due to social distancing measures implemented in Europe and the US. USA To stop the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Facebook CEO

Mark Zuckerberg said Wednesday that the company's platforms, including WhatsApp and Messenger, are experiencing sudden increases in certain types of services, such as calls.

Spanish, Italian and British telecommunications are reporting an increase in broadband traffic in recent weeks as more and more people work from home.

COVID-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – so far has killed more than 8,778 and infected more than 209,839 persons.

UPDATE: March 20, 2020, 9:10 a.m. CET

Netflix said it will reduce the speed at which it delivers content to customers in Europe by 25%.

The Australian government asked Netflix and others to take a similar action in Australia.

UPDATE: March 20, 2020 9:41 AM CET

YouTube has confirmed to CNN that it will also reduce broadcast quality in the EU and the UK.

"We will continue to work with the governments of the member states and network operators to minimize stress on the system, while providing a good user experience," said a Google spokesperson