The demand for bandwidth due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is definitely stretching global internet infrastructure a bit. Both YouTube and Netflix have now agreed to reduce streaming quality in an effort to not overload European capacity.
The move comes at the request of EU regulators, who are trying to coordinate the industry's response to conditions that have seen vast numbers of people under one form of lockdown or another. Whether it's communication, entertainment, teleworking, remote medicine, or whatever else, it's all going over infrastructure that never expected a situation like this.
But on the other hand, it's quite a test bed for networks newly empowered by SDN, automation, quadversity, and all this other stuff we've been writing about. I'm curious just where the bottlenecks were appearing in this case, or if this is just a bit of caution. Certainly IX operators like DE-CIX have seen a dramatic boost in traffic and behavior.
But of course it is video that eats up all the bandwidth, and it's not exactly a huge sacrifice to have to watch standard definition video instead of high definition. It's still entertainment after all. I wonder if we'll see some new capacity come online quickly somewhere that will let them turn the dial back up.
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