NETFLIX, BELL MEDIA REDUCE VIDEO QUALITY TO LOWER INTERNET BANDWIDTH USE

Data-slashing strategies come as online traffic surges due to COVID-19 pandemic

A still from 'Holby City,' which has halted production for the first time since it began in 1999. (BBC)

Netflix is lowering video quality for its subscribers in Canada as it attempts to reduce soaring demands on internet bandwidth in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The streaming giant says it introduced changes on Thursday that are designed to slash its data traffic by 25 per cent, as internet service providers deal with a surge in user activity.

The lower bandwidth streams of Netflix programs should still deliver the usual quality of each plan, the company said, whether it’s ultra-high definition 4K, high-definition or standard definition.

“We believe that this will provide significant relief to congested networks and will be deploying it in Canada for the next 30 days,” said Ken Florance, vice-president of content delivery, in a statement on Thursday.

The move comes as telecom companies are seeing a rise in bandwidth usage while Canadians self-isolate at home and use video-streaming services more frequently than usual.

LEAVE A REPLY