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YouTube to join Netflix in lessening the pressure on the internet amidst pandemic

As Netflix declares their fights against internet bandwidth during the pandemic lockdown, YouTube follows suit.

Netflix and YouTube will be reducing the default quality of videos in Europe. This is to somehow lessen the pressure on the internet as internet users are confined into their houses over the outbreak of the virus, the firms said on Friday.

On Thursday, Netflix has agreed to the movement. On Friday, Google’s video-sharing service YouTube has followed the same steps. However, videos viewed on the site from a European connection on Friday by AFP were still inherently going to HD mode.

“While we have seen only a few usage peaks, we have measures in place to automatically adjust our system to use less network capacity,” a Google spokesperson said.

“Following the discussion between Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, YouTube’s CEO Susan Wojcicki and Commissioner Thierry Breton we are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to Standard Definition by default.”

On the other hand, Netflix will “begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days,” a spokesperson for the streaming giant said in a statement.

“We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 percent while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.”

Worldwide lockdowns with work and classes suspended and everyone staying at home? That just calls for a massive jump on internet usage across the globe to fight off not only the virus but also boredom. With this, Breton warned that the huge file sizes of the products of companies such as Netflix, YouTube, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazon, etc., are all slowing down the web.

“Teleworking and streaming help a lot but infrastructures might be in strain,” he said in a tweet on Thursday, calling for online platforms to switch to streaming in standard definition.

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