Technology

Netflix, Facebook and Instagram reduce video streaming quality in Brazil

The decision will last 30 days and aims to ease broadband networks congestion during the coronavirus outbreak

Photo: Shutterstock
  • Europe was the first region to request platforms to reduce bit rates in their transmissions;
  • Globoplay is also adopting the measure.

Netflix, Facebook and Instagram are reducing the streaming quality in their platforms in Brazil so their services use less bandwidth during the coronavirus outbreak. Netflix confirmed the decision to O Estado de S. Paulo, a few days after announcing the same move in Europe. The firm says the decision will last 30 days in Brazil, with the goal of reducing 25% of its traffic in broadband networks.

Facebook and Instagram are adopting the same measure, also following the steps of European operations, where firms responded to a request made by European Union Commissioner Thierry Breton, who pointed out that broadband networks are becoming more strained as people turn to streaming and videoconference platforms for in-home entertainment and work.

Last weekend Netflix told LABS they were still pondering the necessity of reducing bit rates outside Europe. Facebook told Reuters their main concern is to keep people connected, so they will continue evaluating the need to limit data transmission.

Globoplay, a Brazilian subscription video on demand platform, and other online video services of Globo, the leading media group in the country, is also reducing the quality of streaming.

READ ALSO: CORONAVIRUS coverage on LABS

In Europe, Amazon and Google are also complying with the request made by the European commissioner, reducing streaming bit rates in the continent for their Prime Video and YouTube platforms as a way to ease pressure on network congestion.

According to TechCrunch, Netflix traffic has long accounted for a significant portion of the world’s bandwidth usage. The tech news outlet cites a report at the end of 2019 which said that Netflix streams made up about 13% of overall internet traffic. 

As the coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, people are increasingly using video call and streaming platforms to stay connected. As a result, broadband service providers, cloud storage and management services, as well as organizational and communication tools are seeing their usage and the number of new customers growing impressively.