Coronavirus: Facebook Lowers Video Quality In South America


Following similar move in Europe, social networking giant confirms it is lowering video quality in South America to ease network congestion

Facebook has confirmed it has also now downgraded the video quality on its platform and Instagram for users in South America.

It comes after Facebook on Monday said it will temporarily lower the video streaming quality in Europe to ease the strain on networks.

Last week Netflix, Amazon and YouTube confirmed they will lower the streaming quality of their video content for European users for thirty days. Disney also announced the same at the weekend.


Network congestion

It comes amid concern in some circles at network capacity. Vodafone for example admitted that there has been a surge in data traffic on its networks around the world, with some markets showing a 50 percent rise in traffic.

That led to calls from European Commissioner Thierry Breton for example, for streaming platforms to consider lowering the quality of their online content.

The idea to halt streaming in high definition is to ease overloading online networks, as more and more people self-isolate during the Coronavirus pandemic.

And bandwidth is becoming a precious commodity as many countries are now enforcing nationwide lockdowns.

South America

And now Facebook has on Tuesday extended its video streaming downgrade to South America, Reuters has reported.

“To help alleviate any potential network congestion, we will temporarily reduce bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in Latin America,” a Facebook spokesperson told Reuters in a statement.

Read Silicon UK’s message to readers during the pandemic!

The spokesperson also added that the social networking goliath is working with partners to manage bandwidth constraints amid heavier demand.

The move comes after Brazilian streaming platform GloboPlay announced that video streaming in 4K and Full High Definition would be temporarily suspended as of Monday to preserve Brazil’s internet infrastructure and allow more people to access its contents.

Reuters asked Netflix about future plans to lower streaming quality in Brazil, like it did in Europe. The streaming giant said it “will continue to work with internet service providers and governments all over the world and will apply these changes in other places if necessary.”

According to WHO data, Coronavirus has so far killed 17,147 people around the world, as of Tuesday 24 March. On Monday 23 March the death toll stood at 15,485 deaths.

There are now 392,230 Covid-19 cases (that we know of) around the world.

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