Update: In the meantime, the European Union has also dealt with the topic.

EU Commissioner Thierry Breton contacted Netflix founder Reed Hastings and got in touch a tweet back in which he appealed to keep the resolution used for streaming as low as possible so as not to burden the networks unnecessarily. The original message follows.

The cinemas close in several German cities. Film fans still use television and streaming services such as Netflix as sources of entertainment. But what if the network breaks down under the unusual stress?

The strain on the Internet is changing due to the corona virus. The spread of Covid-19 is to be slowed down with social distancing. The resulting distances are compensated for via the Internet: employees and companies use video telephony for conferences.

Netflix shutdown: are the lines reaching their limits?

For leisure activities in quarantine there is little else than watching television, reading and streaming films and series. In Italy, there were already isolated connection failures last week on Wednesday, writes Bloomberg . Telecom Italia reports a traffic increase of 70 percent above normal values. This is mainly due to video games like Fortnite. Broadband providers in Sweden are also reporting traffic increases.

What does that mean for streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky and Disney + next week? First of all, the Internet did not turn out to be widespread in Italy, only a few functions suddenly buckled under the new requirements, it is said. Telecom Italia announced that the providers are well prepared and able to withstand traffic increases.

Nevertheless: In corona times, more data has to be transmitted via the Internet. It is difficult to predict how the networks will react to this and how high the requirements will actually be. The statements on this have so far come from individual industry experts. They are only partially applicable to all scenarios that we could still expect and do not provide any information about local peculiarities.

In an emergency, Netflix should give way

The Swiss Daily indicator headlined this weekend: “In an emergency, Netflix could be turned off.” This assessment also comes from a single expert who paints an extreme scenario in which an extreme measure could occur. “There is a risk that the capacity will no longer be sufficient,” quotes the Tagesanzeiger.

© Netflix

Is the Netflix screen threatening?

The newspaper had the classification confirmed by the Swiss Federal Office of Communications. If the networks were to be overloaded, the country would therefore, together with the providers, encourage the temporary shutdown of “less important services”.

This means “bandwidth-intensive streaming services”, ie Netflix and Amazon Prime. In an absolute emergency, streaming services would probably not have priority in Germany either.

Why streaming services are unlikely to be turned off

Overall, however, the providers seem well prepared for the challenges. The expert

Roger Entner

 explained to Slate that the additional burdens caused by the corona situation are overestimated.

The video consumption for streaming services was already very high around the evening hours before the changed Corona circumstances. The increased use of video telephony is worrying. However, the peaks are shifting: work-related video streams tend to take place during the day, streams of series and films for leisure activities tend to take place in the evening. So everything as always, only to an increased extent.

But what does this increased scope do?

Set streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon

According to Roger Entner, cloud providers are designed to handle extremely high traffic fluctuations and are therefore unlikely to collapse under them. These cloud providers from Amazon, Microsoft and Google, via which data from streaming services are transmitted, are “elastic” and can dynamically provide bandwidth.

The Internet can endure a little more than we initially believe. Streaming services are well prepared for high loads and can derive them technically. There should be no shutdown or even a crash of Netflix or Amazon Prime for the time being.

Podcast for streaming fans: Are the celebrated series Bad Banks & Babylon Berlin worth it?

In the new episode Stream rush – also with Spotify – let's check out the acclaimed German series Bad Banks and Babylon Berlin, which regularly make the media libraries glow:

Babylon Berlin is the most expensive non-English language series and, like Bad Banks, enjoys international popularity. Andrea, Jenny and Matthias discuss why the twenties thriller and the financial thriller are worthwhile for you.

Have you hammered enough DVDs and Blu-rays?


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