‘Netflix to Cut European Traffic by 25% Due to Coronavirus’

Netflix said on Thursday it would reduce its bit rates across all its streams in Europe, in effect cutting traffic on its European networks by 25% to preserve the smooth functioning of the internet during the coronavirus crisis.

The move came after talks between European Union industry chief Thierry Breton and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Breton had a day earlier urged the video streaming service to downgrade the quality of its video to avoid internet gridlock.

Pure PR, I suspect. I’m sure overall internet traffic has increased recently, but I doubt peak traffic has by much. And of all the services least likely to suffer due to overloaded networks, it’s Netflix. They frequently stress test their services and are directly connected to basically every internet exchange (IX) worldwide thanks to their Open Connect programme. This is just helping hand syndrome. Netflix wants to appear like it is ‘doing its part’.

I just went on Netflix and it’s not currently throttled. I’m being delivered full-fat 1080p streams. So either it’s not in place yet or they’re just getting rid of 4K.

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