The EBU has issued a official recommendation for public service media organisations to avoid internet congestion and manage the potential impact of streaming media consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Recommendation was approved by EBU Member representatives serving on the EBU’s Technical Committee in conjunction with the members of the Digital Steering Committee.
It suggests to temporarily cap streaming bitrates at appropriate levels for different end-user devices, particularly during day-time, and that public service media (PSM) organizations encourage audiences to consume their offerings over broadcast rather than broadband, and on fixed broadband rather than mobile, where possible.
Since last week, commercial streamers including Netflix, Amazon, and the recently launched Disney+ have reduced their bandwidth, moving streaming from high definition to standard definition.
“Public service media organizations are playing a key role in managing the crisis – not only by continuing to inform, educate and entertain, but also by actively engaging with all stakeholders to ensure that broadcast and broadband infrastructure is used in the most efficient way”, said EBU Director of Technology & Innovation Antonio Arcidiacono.
Published as EBU R 149, the Technical Recommendation follows a call by the European Commission to help coordinate a European response to potential internet congestion issues that could be caused by stronger media consumption and the increased reliance on online collaboration tools during the COVID-19 crisis.