"I will stay at home watching Netflix" is a common comment on social networks of those quarantined because of COVID-19, but the European Commission wants access to streaming to "block" the Internet. Operators have been ensuring that resilient infrastructure to support increased demand from quarantined users, whether on leisure or telecommuting, but one of the European commissioners responsible for the digital transition wants online services to also collaborate in containing the use of networks .
"Streaming platforms, telecom operators and users have a joint responsibility to adopt measures to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the spread of the new coronavirus," said the European Internal Market Commissioner, Thierry Breton , in a statement sent today to the press and quoted by the Financial Times.
Thierry Breton has already spoken to the executive director of the Netflix series and movies platform, Reed Hastings, and points out in his communication that Europe and the whole world are facing an unprecedented situation due to the Covid-19 outbreak, noting that governments adopted measures to reduce social interactions to contain the spread of Covid-19 and encouraged teleworking and online teaching.
The commissioner proposes that Netflix reduce the image quality of the service, abandoning high definition, especially during the hours of greatest demand.
Regarding telecommunications operators that provide Internet services, Brussels wants measures to be taken to avoid and mitigate the impacts of the network's imminent congestion.
On the citizens' side there is also a request: they must assume a "responsible use", suggesting configurations that reduce data consumption, including the use of Wi-Fi, and the choice of a lower content resolution whenever possible.
In Portugal, operators have indicated to SAPO TEK that it is too early to measure the impacts of quarantine on the networks, but that the infrastructure is in place. In a concerted move to MEO, NOS and Vodafone have since yesterday offered 10 GB of additional data to their customers, and the subscription of sports channels for a month.