Netflix, YouTube and Amazon Prime will sacrifice streaming quality in Europe to help prevent internet gridlock as millions of Europeans who are confined by the coronavirus pandemic, switch to working from home.
The streaming giants will commence with the reduction in bit rates across all streams in Europe for 30 days; although mobile networks are coping so far they could come under increased pressure as lockdowns to slow the pandemic become stricter and broader.
Streaming video accounts for more than 60% of traffics on fixed and mobile networks. Carriers have been told by the EU not to prioritise traffic as this would violate its net neutrality rules.
Experts warn that reducing streaming rates may only give temporary relief and the dilemma of whether to discriminate between essential and non-essential traffic will resurface.