Online bandwidth congestion is a growing problem. As more users now rely on the Internet on a regular basis, for everything from working to streaming online music or video, some services are actually beginning to limit the amount of overall bandwidth that's available to their users.
Looking at YouTube and Netflix
Making matters even worse is the recent coronavirus health scare of 2020, which sees even more people working from home and utilizing streaming services like YouTube and Netflix.
As such, it should come as no surprise that some services are starting to limit their users' bandwidth. Both Netflix and YouTube took an active stance early on – at least throughout Europe. The two streaming giants quickly lowered their streaming quality to preserve as much bandwidth as possible.
Since then, other limitations have been put in place. Although neither Netflix nor YouTube has put a strict cap on bandwidth in the United States, YouTube has already changed their default stream from high-definition quality to standard.
But this isn't a hard limit whatsoever. In fact, HD streaming is still available through YouTube – users just have to adjust their settings manually. It amounts to nothing more than a minor inconvenience – at least for now.
However, other services are starting to follow their early examples. Sony's PlayStation Network, or PSN, as well as the Xbox Live streaming service have also begun capping download speeds. Although both services have seen increased numbers over the past few weeks, due largely in part to people staying indoors to avoid the coronavirus, it seems gamers will have to sacrifice some of their bandwidth.
It's important to note that these restrictions are applied strictly to game downloads and updates. Regular gaming connectivity should remain unaffected with the current restrictions.
Akamai Technologies of Cambridge, a data delivery platform that manages online traffic and bandwidth for some of the world's largest gaming brands, announced a concentrated effort to limit bandwidth usage during this time. Their strategy revolves around controlling online congestion during peak usage times. As a result, they're constantly monitoring online gaming traffic and making adjustments as needed.
Jim Ryan, president and CEO with Sony Interactive Entertainment, remained optimistic by saying: "Playing video games enables people all over the world to connect with friends and family and enjoy much needed entertainment during these uncertain times. Our goal is to partner with other leaders in the industry to help ensure gamers are able to enjoy engaging experiences."
Dave McCarthy, corporate vice president with Xbox Product Services, had similar sentiments when he stated: "Playing video games enables people all over the world to connect with friends and family and enjoy much needed entertainment during these uncertain times. Our goal is to partner with other leaders in the industry to help ensure gamers are able to enjoy engaging experiences."
To find out more information about Netflix or Youtube, please visit their official websites at www.netflix.com or www.youtube.com, respectively. If you're a gamer, head over to www.xbox.com or www.playstation.com to visit your gaming hub of choice.
Companies Begin to Limit Bandwidth Usage in U.S. and Europe
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