Millions of people around the world sheltering in place due to COVID-19 is taxing broadband networks around Europe. That is prompting the nation's largest streaming services to slow down speeds to prevent the Internet from collapsing from all the demand.
Netflix and YouTube said the actions will impact European users for the next 30 days. It's not clear if similar steps will be needed in the U.S.
A spokesperson for Amazon Prime Video, the second-largest streaming service, told UK's The Guardian it will slow down streaming speeds across Europe to ensure everyone can access content.
"We support the need for careful management of telecom services to ensure they can handle the increased internet demand, with so many people now at home full-time due to Covid-19," the Amazon spokesperson said. "Prime Video is working with local authorities and internet service providers were needed to help mitigate any network congestion, including in Europe, where we've already begun the effort to reduce streaming bitrates while maintaining a quality streaming experience for our customers."
The moves on the part of Netflix, YouTube and now Amazon Prime come as European Union officials had appealed to the companies and consumers to forgo streaming high definition video. EU officials called on the streaming platforms, telecom companies, and consumers to do their part to ensure the Internet functions properly during the outbreak.