YouTube reduces transmission quality due to coronavirus

youtube-reduces bandwidth
Office of YouTube in Tokyo, Japan | © Photo: Klein Dytham Architecture

After Netflix, YouTube in Europe is now also reducing its transmission quality. Specifically, the video service will initially broadcast its videos in SD quality only for 30 days, and thus not quite as sharp and detailed as in HD.

Brussels, 20 March 2020

To reduce the strain on the network in times of increased homework, curfews and closed schools during the virus pandemic, YouTube will reduce its data volumes, the Google subsidiary announced on Friday.

Deutsche Telekom emphasized that its networks were equipped for higher data volumes and more telephone calls during the virus crisis. Depending on the time of day, however, streaming is a significant data factor in the Telekom network. This can be in the evening or at weekends, for example.

Depending on the time of day, streaming is a key data factor

By reducing bandwidth by up to a quarter, YouTube and Netflix are responding to a demand from the European Union. EU Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton had warned the two companies to reduce the streaming quality in order to prevent a collapse of the Internet in Europe. Netflix had already announced yesterday that it would take similar measures to ultimately reduce data traffic in Europe by about 25%.

To prevent data congestion, telecom companies are allowed to take measures. In the interests of net neutrality, however, they may not block, prefer or slow down video services such as Netflix or YouTube.


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