The video-sharing site owned by Google has announced that it will be limiting all European streams to standard definition in order to manage the load on its network.
It follows advice from the EU Internal Market Commission that everyone should limit their streams to standard definition to minimise network congestion as millions more people go online as a result of social isolation to fight the pandemic.
Thierry Breton from the commission spoke to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings as well as Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki to put these measures in place.
YouTube issued the following terse statement: ‘We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default.’
As YouTube is the biggest video streaming platform on the web, the switch to standard definition should free up traffic on European networks considerably.
Netflix said the move would see a 25% reduction of its traffic on Europe’s networks.
As people started to work from home, mobile networks including O2, EE, Vodafone and Three all began to struggle.
Many customers took to social media to complain they had not been able to make calls all morning, with some claiming business had already been dramatically slowed down.
At the time, an O2 spokesperson told Metro.co.uk: ‘Today the industry experienced an issue that meant some calls between different networks were unable to connect. Specifically, O2, Vodafone and Three were unable to connect to EE and EE customers were unable to connect to O2, Vodafone and Three.
‘At a time when the country needs connectivity most, it is important we work together rather than pointing fingers before facts have been determined.
‘As this was a problem for a multiple networks, there is a National Emergency Alert for Telecommunications and Ofcom call at 2:30pm this afternoon to determine the route of the issue to ensure this doesn’t happen again.’