While the bulk of the population in Spain and Italy is confined to their homes in a forced quarantine with which they try to curb the expansion of the coronavirus, Europe has yet another unforeseen event: its networks are operating much closer to their capacity. . The different Spanish operators, for their part, confirm this sharp increase in domestic demand since quarantine is applied.

As a sign of this burden, a button: according to Zuckerberg, in the regions most strongly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are continuously using their services more than on New Year’s Eve. This is causing some inconveniences to users Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, still punctual.

Europe seeks to pixelate to guarantee network stability

Faced with this problem, and as we read in the Financial Times, the European Union is taking some measures, asking streaming services like Netflix or YouTube to limit their services to prevent collapse, while a large part of the population works telework and tele-study.

According to a spokesperson for Netflix in statements obtained by Hipertextual, the video-on-demand platform acknowledges that “the commissioner is right to emphasize the importance of ensuring that the Internet continues to function without problems during this critical moment.” However, he already claims to be collaborating for the proper functioning of telecommunications companies:

“For many years, we have focused on network efficiency, including providing our free open connect service to telecommunications companies.”

According to Thierry Breton, one of the European Commissioners in charge of digital policies, European platforms and telephones have “the joint responsibility to take the measures that ensure the proper functioning of the Internet”.

Under this reasoning, nothing high definition. At least when it comes to entertainment. It is desirable to reduce the definition to standard as far as possible.

Interestingly, the defense of net neutrality in Europe has the effect that the authorities cannot unilaterally restrict this type of service. The Spanish telecommunications industry, according to FT, urged this week to use online services – download, streaming or video call – outside the hours of highest demand. These are between 8 and 9 at night.

Update (19/03 – 17:10 CET): The article has been updated with the official position of Netflix.

Update (19/03 – 19:25 CET): ‘BBC’ claims that Netflix will reduce streaming quality to evict data traffic in Europe by up to 25%.

👇 More in Explica.co