YouTube cuts videos to lower quality during Coronavirus

YouTube are following in the footsteps of Netflix and will begin capping its data flow during the coronavirus pandemic. YouTube will being limiting all European streams to standard definition to manage the load on it’s network.

This is following advice from the EU Internal Market Commisson. Which was that everyone should limit their streams to standard definition. As it will minimie the network congestion as millions of people will be going online to kill time in isolation.

Thierry Breton from the commission spoke to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki to ensure the measures are put in place.

We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default.’

‘People are coming to YouTube to find authoritative news, learning content and make connections during these uncertain times,’ a spokeswoman for the video platform said.

‘While we have seen only a few usage peaks, we have measures in place to automatically adjust our system to use less network capacity.

‘We are in ongoing conversations with the regulators (including Ofcom), governments and network operators all over Europe, and are making a commitment to temporarily default all traffic in the UK and the EU to standard definition.

‘We will continue our work to minimise stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience.’  YouTube Spokesperson

The video streaming service said that there has little change in the peaks for usage. Furthermore seeing changes mostly in usage patterns, with usage expanding across longer hours.

The switch to standard definition should free up traffic on European networks considerably. While Netflix said that they would see a 25% reduction of it’s traffic on Europe’s networks.

Mobile Networks

While mobile networks including O2, EE, Vodafone and Three all began to struggle. As people are starting to work from home. With many customers complaining online that they were unable to make calls. With some claiming business had already began to slow down dramatically.

‘Today the industry experienced an issue that meant some calls between different networks were unable to connect. Specifically, O2, Vodafone and Three were unable to connect to EE and EE customers were unable to connect to O2, Vodafone and Three.

‘At a time when the country needs connectivity most, it is important we work together rather than pointing fingers before facts have been determined.

‘As this was a problem for a multiple networks, there is a National Emergency Alert for Telecommunications and Ofcom call at 2:30pm this afternoon to determine the route of the issue to ensure this doesn’t happen again.’ O2 spokesperson told Metro

Furthermore YouTube also confirmed it was introducing a new area on its homepage. Which is dedicated to news about Covid-19 from trustworthy sources.


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