Netflix is cutting the bitrate on streams in Australia, as internet use soars thanks to people working from home

Netflix is reducing its bitrate in Australia. (Photo Illustration by Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images)
  • Netflix is reducing the bitrate on streams in Austalia as demand on telecommunications amid the coronavirus soars.
  • You’ll still get the tier of video quality you paid for, whether that’s ultra-high definition, high definition or standard definition.
  • But you may notice a slight decrease in quality in each resolution.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

Netflix is reducing the bitrate on streams in Australia as demand on telecommunication networks soar.

With Aussies being called to stay home – or work from home – to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, it has seen a big demand on telecommunications networks. As a result, Netflix has decided to reduce the bitrate on streams.

Netflix typically has many different streams for a single title within each resolution. But now, Netflix has removed the highest bandwidth streams. So if you’re viewing a specific video quality, you may notice a slight decrease in quality. But you’ll still get the tier you paid for, whether that’s ultra-high definition, high definition or standard definition.

“Given the crisis, we’ve developed a way to reduce Netflix’s traffic on telecommunications networks by 25% while also maintaining the quality of our service,” Ken Florance, Netflix VP of content delivery said in a statement.

“So consumers should continue to get the quality that comes with their plan – whether it’s Ultra-High, High or Standard Definition. We believe that this will provide significant relief to congested networks and will be deploying it in Australia for the next 30 days.”

The move comes after Netflix began bandwidth reductions the in Europe.

When asked about Netflix usage amid the coronavirus pandemic, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos told CNN, “Viewing is up on Netflix”, adding that “people are certainly watching a lot more Netflix.”

Netflix will begin implementing the bitrate cut in Australia late Tuesday night, with the impact on networks to be seen over the next few days.

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