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Covid-19: European regulators will allow operators to "turn off the tap" to some traffic

More people at home, synonymous with more traffic on the Internet, whether telecommuting – with video conferences and chats, or document sharing platforms -, or at leisure, with TV consumption, calls with friends and family and OTT (such as Netflix), it is certain that internet consumption is above normal.

In Portugal, operators have been guaranteeing that the infrastructure is prepared, and although they have not yet shared numbers, the guarantee that has been given to SAPO TEK that everything is working normally.

The truth is that there is a great concern, and this has been revealed in several alerts, such as that of the European Commission that contacted streaming platforms such as Netflix asking for more restraint in video sharing, opting for streaming without high definition.

Today, a joint statement from the European Commission and BEREC, the European Electronic Communications Regulators Body, shows that this concern exists, and that there are suggestions for measures to resolve a possible supply crisis in the telecommunications network and network congestion due to the COVID pandemic. -19.

"Under the terms of the Open Internet Regulation (Article 3.3 of Regulation (EU) 2015/2120), operators are authorized to apply traffic management measures, to mitigate the congestion effects of the networks, exceptional or temporary, provided that equivalent categories of traffic are treated in an equivalent manner, "says that statement.

The shared information indicates that, to date, there have been no major traffic congestions yet and that operators are managing to react to the situation, but says that "it is necessary to maintain vigilance and the ability to act if necessary".

"This situation may be relevant given the containment measures adopted to address the COVID-19 crisis that the Member States of the European Union are facing", adds the same source.

BEREC and the European Commission invite operators to inform national regulatory authorities or competent authorities about the measures they have already taken to address this situation.

Among the indications that have been shared there are also recommendations for users to make a more responsible management of the use of communication tools, avoiding video whenever possible and opting for streaming in "normal" quality, without using HD, in order to avoid network congestion.

Editor's Note: The news has been updated with more information