Netflix to reduce quality in bandwidth crunch

Netflix will compress the data its streaming service consumes in a bid to reduce the congestion on the National Broadband Network caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Age reports from later tonight, Netflix will compress the bit rates of its streams to help telecommunications providers cope with high levels of demand, for the next 30 days.

Netflix says consumers will still get the quality they pay for – ultra-high, high or standard definition – but “if you are particularly tuned into video quality you may notice a very slight decrease in quality within each resolution”.

This follows similar moves in Europe as populations increase their internet usage. YouTube, Amazon, Apple and Disney all agreed to reduce bit rates in Europe, with Disney+ delaying their launch to March 24.

Netflix is the first to follow suit in Australia.


  1. I’ve noticed the NBN is running at a slightly slower speed when doing a speed test, but seems normal to me – and as for Netflix, I can’t notice any different. Thankfully a late night Brooklyn Nine-Nine and a drink is perfect for me!

  2. What a way to test the NBN at its full capacity,not when half a dozen or so people using it.If you read the squeal the NBN was able to leap tall buildings in a single bounce,hmm maybe they need a run up first because if there is a disaster god help us!

  3. I get that Europe – a collection of various networks and operators – won’t operate at a level that may facilitate high bandwidth usage, but the NBN? Really, after all these years and the supposed top-notch/future-proofed service which is almost, but not quite complete, can’t handle it?

  4. Experts and internet service providers in Europe say there is no need to reduce internet quality.
    In Europe if a local area is experiencing congestion Netflix is automatically scaling down video quality in case of any congestion, it has always done that.
    ‘In Britain they have more than enough capacity to handle mass scale homeworking’ says Howard Watson, CTO of British Telecom. ‘We will not run out of bandwidth, it is built for many times the data consumption being seen now’.
    Over to you NBN Co. Tell Netflix the way it is in Australia.

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