Alphabet Inc’s YouTube said on Friday it will reduce its streaming quality in the European Union to avert internet gridlock as thousands of Europeans, constrained by the coronavirus outbreak, switch to working from home.
YouTube is the second company after Netflix to act after EU industry chief Thierry Breton urged streaming platforms to cut the quality of their videos to prevent internet overload. Videos account for a substantial part of internet traffic data.
The move came after Breton spoke to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. The company said so far it had only seen a few usage peaks but decided to act to minimize stress on the system.
It doesn’t yet appear that US viewers will be affected.