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There’s no real need for Netflix, Disney and others to have stopped 4K streaming in the UK, BT says

BT has said that the current spike in internet usage is not a cause for concern, despite the fact streaming services have chosen to downgrade image quality for users based in Europe. 

Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Apple TV Plus and Disney Plus have all reduced the quality of their streaming output. Some of the platforms were asked to do so by European Commissioner Thierry Breton, and they say they’re hoping to reduce stress on broadband networks.

However, BT has suggested that the UK is far more able to cope with the networking strain than some other European countries and that, as a result, streaming quality didn’t necessarily need to be lowered in the UK.

Related: How to find 4K content on Disney Plus

A BT spokesperson told Trusted Reviews: “Netflix has reduced its bitrates in reaction to European operators as a whole, not specifically the UK. The UK has a very capable core network because UK consumers are more heavily invested in HD streaming video, including live football, Netflix, etc., than many other nations.

“So in the UK there isn’t a pressing need to reduce bitrates at the current time, but we are supportive of the move, as clearly the situation is unprecedented and it is common sense to do it.”

BT said that between Tuesday and Friday of last week, data use on its network increased by 35-60%. However, the network explained (via BBC): “The additional load… is well within manageable limits and we have plenty of headroom for it to grow still further”.

Disney Plus became the latest company to reduce the picture quality on its streaming platform today − launch day for many countries, including the UK − following action from Netflix, YouTube, Apple and Amazon.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings met with EU Commissioner Thierry Breton last week to discuss potential network issues around streaming.

Related: Disney Plus vs Netflix

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