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 ”
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
1- Daily mobilization of telecommunications operators in order to
better manage data flow spikes and protect quality and
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
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
Favor advance downloads of videos (films, series by
example), during off-peak hours (especially after 11 p.m.) rather than a
Avoid playing videos in very high definition (and in particular 4K).