Movie and TV streaming service Netflix says it will cut its bit rates across Europe by a quarter to ease the internet burden as coronavirus quarantines have forced millions of people to stay home all day.
Many more people than usual are now working from home, thanks to virus-limiting restrictions and lockdowns, while the mass closure of schools and colleges also means more pressure on internet providers from younger service users.
Netflix’s move comes after the EU’s Internal Markets Commissioner Thierry Breton urged the service to help address the additional strain on internet services.
“To secure Internet access for all, let’s #SwitchToStandard definition when HD is not necessary,” Breton tweeted in an appeal to online viewers.''
The pandemic continues to worsen in Europe, with Italy’s total death toll from Covid-19 overtaking that of China, where the disease was first reported, at 3,405. According to figures compiled by the AFP, the overall number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Europe passed 100,000 on Thursday.