All in unison, Netflix and its rivals reduce their speeds to avoid saturating the network

This article was updated on 03/20 at 5:45 pm after the decision of YouTube and Prime Video to restrict the quality of video streams to them. Streaming players are mobilizing to avoid saturation of the network. In full containment, their attendance explodes and weighs heavily in the consumption of bandwidth.

While the containment measures put in place to curb the
    spread of coronavirus led to sudden increase in telework
    and an increase in the use of communication, video game and
    entertainment (video streaming, music, etc.), the European Union yesterday called for


to temporarily change its broadcast quality from HD to standard
    in order to relieve the network.

An initiative led by Thierry Breton, the
    European Commissioner for the Internal Market, who said yesterday on


: ” To secure Internet access for all, let’s go to the definition
    standard when HD is not required.
” A few hours later,
    he was delighted with the positive response from Reed Hastings, the CEO of
    Netflix, with whom he had just spoken.

Netflix leads the way

Indeed, the streaming platform has decided to curb its bit rates for a
    30 day period. “ We believe this will reduce the
    Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25% while ensuring
    good quality service to our members
“, at


a company spokesperson cited by CNN. Thierry
    Breton then hailed the ” great sense of responsibility and solidarity
    boss of



YouTube and Amazon Prime Video follow

In the process, YouTube and Prime Video decided to follow in the footsteps of the firm of Reed Hastings. To participate in the collective effort, they announced that they would also limit the quality of their content in SD (480p).

On these platforms, it will therefore be temporarily impossible to enjoy high definition or 4K. What greatly reduce their bandwidth consumption and therefore the weight they weigh on operators.

A meager tribute to pay to preserve the European network. If the risk of congestion does not seem imminent, caution is the mother of caution in this exceptional period.

Push for the adoption of digital “good practices”

At the same time, the State Secretariat responsible for digital
    government of Edouard Philippe announced to have launched three actions
    complementary, in coordination with the European Commission, ARCEP and
    the operators.

1- Daily mobilization of telecommunications operators in order to
    better manage data flow spikes and protect quality and
    network integrity;

2- An appeal to content providers who consume a lot of tape
    busy (VoD, streaming, online games …) to take within hours and
    days to come appropriate technical measures to limit the
    consumption of their services;

3- A call to the general public to adopt certain good practices of
    consumption. In
    In particular, the Government invites the French to:

  • Favor “fixed” connections (with Wi-Fi for example) to
        connections on mobile networks (3G or 4G) for video playback in
        line ;

  • Favor advance downloads of videos (films, series by
        example), during off-peak hours (especially after 11 p.m.) rather than a
        streaming playback;

  • Avoid playing videos in very high definition (and in particular 4K).






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