YouTube and Amazon Prime will sacrifice degrade quality in the EU to assist in averting internet gridlock as millions of Europeans, confined by the coronavirus pandemic, switch to working from home.
Alphabet’s YouTube and Amazon joined Netflix and Apple+ in responding to a call by the European Union (EU) industry chief Thierry Breton to cut image quality to forestall overload.
While cellular networks are coping thus far they might come under elevated pressure as lockdowns to slow the pandemic become stringent and broader.
Streaming video can account for 60% or more of traffic on fixed and mobile networks and the planned March 24 launch of Disney+ in Britain, Ireland, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland could develop a new pain point.
Carriers had been told by the EU not to prioritize traffic as this would breach its net neutrality guidelines.
A spokesperson stated the decision consists of Britain, which is leaving the EU and will initially be for 30 days. Breton welcomed YouTube’s step.
Amazon Prime followed suit Friday, saying it supported the need for careful administration of telecom services to make sure they’ll handle the increased web demand with so many people now at home full-time resulting from COVID-19.
Disney, which has 28.6 million users, had no comment. It’s already sending out teasers for a launch that will feature the opening two episodes of ‘The Mandalorian’ and the final season of ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’.
Experts warn that lowering streaming rates could only give short-term support and the dilemma of whether or not to discriminate between essential and non-important traffic will resurface.