YouTube said on Friday it will reduce its streaming quality in the European Union and the United Kingdom to avert internet gridlock as thousands of people work from home.
The Google-owned video platform's measure will stay in effect in the EU and UK for 30 days. The decision is subject to review, a Google spokesperson said.
“We will continue working with member state governments and network operators to minimize stress on the system, while also delivering a good user experience,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to CNN.
Thierry Breton, the EU's internal market commissioner, urged streaming platforms to cut the quality of their videos to prevent internet overload with so many people staying at home. Netflix announced its plans to reduce streaming quality yesterday.
“Millions of Europeans are adapting to social distancing measures thanks to digital platforms, helping them to telework, e-learn and entertain themselves,” Breton said in a statement Friday. “I warmly welcome the initiative that Google has taken to preserve the smooth functioning of the Internet during the COVID19 crisis by having YouTube switch all EU traffic to Standard Definition by default."