The ongoing effect of Coronavirus is worldwide, many areas predictable, but some perhaps not so easy to foresee. One that wasn’t quite so easy to predict is the need for Netflix to reduce their streaming quality to Europe. Interestingly, not for a reason you would expect; but to ensure that continued Internet service can be provided to all.

Netflix issued a statement to Business Insider:

Following the discussions between Commissioner Thierry Breton and Reed Hastings – and given the extraordinary challenges raised by the coronavirus – Netflix has decided to begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days. We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 per cent while also ensuring a good quality service for our members.

The maths is pretty simple in the grand scheme – SD streams will use approximately 1GB of data per hour. An HD stream uses 3GB and by reducing their streaming quality to SD. Netflix has done their part to ensure users can still enjoy content without pushing core networks to breaking point.

How would you feel if Australia’s Netflix quality gets reduced to ease the strain on our broadband network?

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Drew Win

If they are going to force the bitrate to SD, then they should charge customers with the HD subscriptions or higher, the same price as SD subscription for the duration.

Joshua Hill

Now is not the time for silly responses or political point scoring Ausdroiders. Let’s get through this and look out for one another if that means our Netflix temporarily suffers a little, so be it.

Daniel Narbett


Mr Au



In the Guardian tonight:
“Australian government asks Netflix and Stan to reduce data to avoid broadband overload”


Why doesn’t the government get involved and just build us a utopian network on a national level that would allow us to access the internet using best in class broadband technology? Surely if designed with the future demand in scope we wouldn’t all be trying to find ways to spend isolation/quarantine with subpar picture & audio quality 🤔


Seems a perfectly reasonable response, given the increased need for working from home and the demand that will place on networks. I assume this will be an essential change given the issues inherent to the NBN.