Netflix and Disney+ Slash Traffic in Europe Amid Coronavirus

Written by: Michael Harris
March 22, 2020
  • Disney+ delays launching of its services in some European countries by 2 weeks
  • Both Netflix and Disney+ agree to a request from the European Union to decrease the bandwidth use by 25% to ensure the smooth functioning of the internet
  • Telecom networks are under huge pressure to cope with a surge in internet usage

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) and Disney+ streaming service have agreed to cut bandwidth in a bid to support internet service providers in Europe to cope with a surge in usage.

Businesses and institutions around the world have ordered the majority of its staff to work from home amid the coronavirus outbreak. As a result, internet service providers across the world are struggling to keep its networks online due to a surge in usage.

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Disney+, owned by Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), was supposed to launch in France and the UK, among other countries, on March 24, but decided to push back the launch for two weeks, at the request of European Union.

“In line with Disney’s longstanding commitment to act responsibly, we are responding to the request of European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton to work together to ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure,” said Kevin Mayer, Chairman of Direct-to-Consumer & International at the Walt Disney Co.

“In anticipation of high consumer demand for Disney+, we are proactively instituting measures to lower our overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25% in all of the markets launching Disney+ on March 24th”.

In a similar move, Netflix has agreed to cut traffic by 25% on networks across Europe to reduce the pressure on internet service providers and ensure the smooth functioning of internet connections amid the coronavirus outbreak.

“Our goal is simple: to maintain the quality of service for our members, while supporting ISPs who are facing unprecedented strain on their networks,” the company said in a statement.

Netflix has already introduced similar measures in Italy and Spain, and has now decided to expand the traffic reduction measures for the rest of Europe. More precisely, Netflix plans to “remove the highest bandwidth streams within each resolution category for the next 30 days in Europe”.

Major video gaming platforms, namely Microsoft’s XBOX, Nintendo and Sony’s Playstation, have all reported difficulties in keeping their servers online amid a surge in usage.