The global coronavirus crisis has forced millions of people to stay at home instead of going to work or school. This means that these people are going to need some entertainment in order to kill the time. Streaming services like Netflix are already being used much more than normal in many European countries. As a result of this, European Commissioner Thierry Breton has been leading the charge to get Netflix to reduce the bit rate of their service for one month. Breton spoke directly with Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix. The purpose of reducing the bit rate of Netflix is to make it less likely that there will be any Internet outages across Europe because of the online infrastructure being overtaxed.
Reed Hastings has agreed to lower the bit rate of Netflix in Europe for one month. He has also asked that people watch their movies and shows in standard instead of high definition. This is because watching programs in HD puts more stress on the Internet infrastructure than simply watching it in standard. The goal is to ensure that people who need to use the Internet for emergencies during this crisis will be able to access it at any time without any outages.
Netflix has reported that their usage around the globe has gone up a lot since people began to quarantine themselves. The coronavirus has made Netflix one of the most popular ways that people have to entertain themselves while being isolated. There are rumors that the streaming giant will have a few surprise releases in the coming weeks that are not on their schedule as a way of brightening the spirits is of people during this very depressing time. However, there is no word about what those might be.
Reducing the bit rate will upset some Netflix subscribers in Europe. However, the important thing is that all people have access to the Internet when they need it without having any outages. Also, the bit rate reduction will only last for one month. There is the possibility that it could be extended if the crisis keeps people locked in their homes for longer than one month. It all depends on if the European commissioner believes that the online infrastructure is in serious jeopardy of being compromised. It remains to be seen if that will be the case. Netflix has agreed to help in any way they can on this issue.