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The EU is urging Netflix to lower users’ streaming quality to SD

The EU has requested that streaming sites like Netflix and Disney Plus stop allowing users to stream content in high definition.

The ongoing coronavirus situation has led to unprecedented usage of the platforms, and EU officials say that standard definition streams will reduce the strain on web infrastructure.

Related: The best VPNs for streaming

Following an “important phone conversation” with Netflix CEO, Reed Hastings, the European Commissioner, Thierry Breton, sent out the tweet below. He called on people to stay at home and for streaming platforms to switch to standard definition.

A Netflix spokesperson told CNN Business: “Commissioner Breton is right to highlight the importance of ensuring that the internet continues to run smoothly during this critical time… We’ve been focused on network efficiency for many years, including providing our open connect service for free to telecommunications companies.”

Netflix also pointed out that it already adjusts the streaming quality available to users as standard, depending on network capacity.

Yesterday, we saw interesting evidence of the huge surge in streaming revealed by Atlas VPN. The company saw a massive increase in the usage of its service, as more and more people are forced to work from home or self-isolate.

Due to Italy’s particularly severe Covid-19 situation, Atlas VPN’s Italian traffic rose by 112% during the second week of March, compared to the previous week’s traffic figures. In the US, usage jumped by 56%, while Russia saw a 36% jump in use.

Take a look at the graph below.

Related: Bored with Netflix already? Relive the best retro British game shows instead

So, for the time being you may have to put up with a standard definition stream, but it’s for a good cause. We’re yet to see any huge negative effects of usage surges on streaming platforms. However, gaming platforms have struggled under new pressures.

Gamers saw Nintendo Online Services cut out for Switch h players yesterday, but everything has been fixed and players are currently back online.

Related: Best PS4 Games (March 2020)

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