Netflix has to reduce the quality of its streaming service in order to help internet infrastructure cope with the increased traffic caused by pandemic.
The online streaming platform has seen a significant increase in demand in recent days after containment measures forced people to stay at home and self-isolate to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.
Netflix said the reduction in picture quality will only affect users in Europe, though it is not yet clear whether this includes the UK. The Independent has reached out to Netflix for clarification.
The move follows a call from European Union commissioner Thierry Breton for streaming services to lower the resolution of their content to help ease the strain on overloaded networks.
“To secure internet access for all, let’s switch to standard definition when HD is not necessary,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
Netflix streaming traffic hit an all-time high on AT&T Inc. networks, the telecommunications giant said, while music-video streams climbed 7% last week in the U.S., according to Nielsen.
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There isn’t yet evidence that internet service providers or their customers are suffering widespread outages or poor service. Netflix users experienced temporary outages across the U.S. and Europe on Wednesday, though it wasn’t clear if that was related.