YouTube limits the quality of its videos to avoid collapse

Internet consumption is one of the basic services that has increased its demand the most during the period of social isolation suggested and imposed, in other cases, by authorities around the world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a measure to ease traffic, YouTube announced that it will reduce the quality of its videos in the United States starting this Tuesday, March 24.

In the next few days, viewers will initially watch YouTube videos in standard definition. Users will still be able to see in high definition if they want, but they will have to choose to do so, Bloomberg explained, citing the Google affiliate.

The idea is not new, but emerged as an imposition in Europe by regulators. There, they demanded the same from the main streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, to avoid the collapse of bandwidth, the same media reported.

YouTube also explained that although video viewing, which requires more data than music, messages or maps, usually shoots up at night, today consumption is more constant throughout the day.

"We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the world to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation," Google said.

Citing network analysis firm Sandvine, the media reported that the largest consumer of traffic volume on the internet during 2019 was Google ahead of Netflix.

Sandvine Vice President of Global Marketing Cam Cullen indicated on March 18, 2020 that there has been no impact on overall video traffic volume, with the exception of one change in content preferences.

That is, clarify that for the first time YouTube is above Netflix, sometimes up to twice the volume.

YouTube is always number one on mobile networks, usually with a fair margin. So why would Netflix go through this crisis? The answer is actually one that makes perfect sense from my perspective. People are watching a little more of YouTube than normal (because it's a great source of information from a wide variety of sources) to try to figure out what's really going on and learn about what they should be doing, he explained.

Unlike normal, Cullen found when its use is divided between mobile networks, work or school networks and random Wi-Fi access points, (today) everything focuses on home networks.

What was observed during the pandemic is a great example of a change of place. Rather than spread across many different locations, users are concentrated on a single network: it is equivalent to all highways, but one is closed and all traffic is redirected through that path.

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