Forward-looking: Netflix was among several online video providers that implemented measures back in March to reduce Internet traffic as shelter-in-place orders ramped up around the globe. Now that things have settled down a bit, we’re starting to see bitrates revert back to normal.
In a statement issued to FlatpanelsHD, Netflix said it is working with ISPs to help increase capacity. “In the last month alone we have added four times the normal capacity,” a spokesperson said. And as conditions continue to improve, Netflix will further lift limitations.
Per the publication, users in Norway, Denmark, Germany and other European countries have reported improved streaming quality (4K HDR up to 15 Mb/s bitrate). In the site’s own testing, however, it said streaming is still capped at 7.62 Mb/s.
According to 9to5Mac, Apple also implemented a reduced bandwidth policy for Apple TV+ but restored 4K streaming late last month. Amazon and Google’s YouTube also said in March that they would reduce streaming quality in the EU. YouTube took it a step further, adding that it would default videos to standard definition worldwide for a full month. Users could manually set a higher quality if they wanted, however. It is unclear if YouTube is still imposing that restriction.
Streaming providers weren’t the only ones to feel the squeeze on infrastructure as users were sent home. AT&T said it, too, observed changes in traffic patterns as citizens complied with local and federal mandates. At one point, mobile volume was up 40 percent and Wi-Fi calling had increased 100 percent.