BRUSSELS (Reuters) – YouTube will sacrifice streaming quality in the EU to help avert internet gridlock as tens of millions of Europeans, confined by the coronavirus outbreak, switch to working from home.
Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) YouTube is the second online video company after Netflix (NFLX.O) to respond to a call by the European Union industry chief Thierry Breton to cut picture quality to prevent overload.
While mobile networks are coping so far they could come under increased pressure as lockdowns to slow the pandemic become stricter 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+ (DIS.N) in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria and Switzerland could create a new pain point.
Carriers have been told by the EU not to prioritize traffic as this would violate its net neutrality rules.
“We are making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard…
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