The digital video platform YouTube pledged this Friday to lower the quality of transmission in the European Union (EU) with a view to the smooth functioning of the service during the Covid-19 outbreak, given the increase in demand.
“As we observed some usage spikes, we adopted some measures to automatically adjust our system to reduce the use of network capacity”, which means that “we will temporarily assume the standard definition (in transmission quality) for traffic in the EU, ”says an official source at Google, the company that owns YouTube, in a note released this Friday.
The statement was released to the press in Brussels by the office of European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, and comes after a meeting of this responsible with the executive presidents of Google, Sundar Pichai, and YouTube, Susan Wojcick.
According to the official Google source, cited by the note, there is now greater access to that platform for connections between Internet users in the European Union and for distance learning, this "in a period of uncertainty" given the crisis related to the new coronavirus. "We will continue to work with Member State governments and network operators to minimize congestion in the system, in addition to offering a good user experience," the source notes in the note.
For his part, Thierry Breton notes in the statement that "millions of Europeans are adapting to social distance measures thanks to digital platforms, which help them in teleworking, distance learning and leisure time".
"I very much welcome the initiative that Google took to preserve the good functioning of the internet during the Covid-19 crisis", adds the European Commissioner.
Netflix also lowered the quality
On Thursday, the Netflix digital series and film platform also pledged to reduce transmission quality in one month, to avoid service congestion at a time of greater demand due to the isolation in Europe due to Covid-19.
“Given the extraordinary challenges created by the new coronavirus, Netflix has decided to start reducing bit rates (transfer flow) across all of our streaming services in Europe for 30 days,” said a press release. by the European Commission.
The move, adopted a day after European Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, spoke with the platform's executive chairman, Reed Hastings, implies that “Netflix reduces its traffic in Europe by about 25%, while ensuring good quality service for its customers ”.
"I am delighted with Netflix's quick action," Breton said in the same statement, highlighting Reed Hastings' "strong sense of responsibility and solidarity".
Earlier on Wednesday, the European Commission had asked Netflix and other streaming platforms to adapt services to rising demand at a time of social isolation from the Covid-19 outbreak, while also asking operators to avoid Internet congestion. .
Due to the pandemic, several EU Member States have taken measures to promote social isolation, thereby trying to contain the outbreak. The new coronavirus, responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, infected more than 235,000 people worldwide, of whom more than 9,800 died.