The European Union calls on Netflix and other streaming platforms to limit unprecedented consumption to prevent the internet from collapsing due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the context of many countries being forced to isolate themselves to fight the spread of coronavirus, when hundreds of millions of people work from home and more children do not go to school, EU officials are worried about the huge internet consumption.
European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who is responsible for the EU’s 450 million-strong internal market and services, said on Twitter Wednesday night that he spoke to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Breton is asking people and companies to “use the standard version when high resolution (HD) is not required” to provide access to the Internet for all.
A Netflix spokesperson told CNN Business that Hastings and Breton will speak again Thursday.
“Commissioner Breton is right to stress the importance of ensuring that the Internet continues to run smoothly in these critical times,” the Netflix spokesman said. “We focus on network efficiency for many years, including providing our free connection service to telecommunications companies.”
Netflix said it already adjusts stream quality to network capacity and uses a special delivery network that keeps its catalog closer to users as a way to consume less bandwidth.
Facebook (FB) also acknowledged on Wednesday that the effects of the pandemic are narrowing its limits.
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO, said Facebook services are experiencing “increases” in its use because of the coronavirus that caused people to stay home. He described the increase in demand “well beyond” the similar annual, during the New Year’s Eve. Voice and video calls on WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, in particular, have reached more than double levels.