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European Union to Netflix: Help stop the internet from breaking

The European Union is in talks with Netflix and other streaming platforms to help ease the pressure on the internet that has resulted from the coronavirus pandemic. Here's how you can help too.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

The European Union is in talks with Netflix and other streaming platforms about ways to prevent the internet from breaking due to the unprecedented pressures placed on it by the coronavirus pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions to work from home, and as schools and colleges close and move their operations online, the EU is concerned about the strain all this is placing on the internet as a whole.

European Commissioner Thierry Breton, has already had a meeting with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings about getting the company to temporarily disable high definition (HD) streaming and switch to standard definition (SD) in the meantime.

"Streaming platforms, telecom operators and users, we all have a joint responsibility to take steps to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet during the battle against the virus propagation," Breton said in a statement.

Reports suggest that the internet is currently coping well with the increased demand, but Breton is keen to take steps to "secure Internet access for all."

Netflix says that it already adjusts the quality of streams based on the available network capacity, and employs a bespoke content distribution network to reduce load.

But if you're binge-watching something and mostly not paying attention (isn't that what most of us do?), do you really need to be streaming in HD?

Must read: Coronavirus social distancing got you down? Tips and tricks to help you get through it

You can also do your bit to help reduce the load on the internet. Here are some suggestions:

ioSafe Duo: Fireproof and water resistant data storage (in pictures)

Any more suggestions for reducing the load on the internet at this time? Let me know!

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