Published Mar 25, 2020As more North Americans self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic, the internet usage is going through the roof. Today we may have got our first taste of that, as Netflix crashed across the U.S., while YouTube is already taking the preemptive measure of cutting its video quality worldwide.
This morning, Netflix was unavailable to many U.S. users for about an hour, and several users were also affected in Europe. However, Netflix did not say this was the result of us all using too much internet.
"Some of our members in the U.S. and Europe were unable to use Netflix via our website for around an hour this morning," a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement to Variety. "The issue is now fixed and we're sorry for the inconvenience."
The Netflix issues affected users across the U.S., with streamers reporting either that had "no connection" to Netflix or had problems with video streaming. The issues seemed to have been solved by 1:30 p.m. ET.
The news comes as various online streamers and internet service providers are reporting record numbers. In the U.S., for example, AT&T said it recorded record-high levels of Netflix traffic on March 20 and 21.
YouTube is also reporting some massive traffic surges during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. In attempts to get ahead of the game, the streaming service has decided to limit video resolution across the globe, Bloomberg reports. Previously, the move had only been applied to Europe, but YouTube will be cutting its quality worldwide in attempts to avoid us all running out of bandwidth.
Of the decision, Google said in a statement, "We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation,"
However, you will still have the option to stream if high definition if you want; it just will no longer be automatic.
The YouTube initiative started Tuesday (March 24) and will last for at least a month.