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To save the economy we must reduce video bandwidth use — now

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Internet capacity is robust, but the massive increase in global consumption is pushing usage beyond its usual spike, EU regulators have warned.

It is probable that streaming media consumption, gaming and video collaboration are responsible for most of this additional demand. To maintain our connected culture during the current crisis, individuals, enterprises and big tech firms must cut down on their bandwidth usage — and the best way to do so is to reduce the use of video.

Reduce video bandwidth

Why?

The truth is that video accounted for over two-thirds of global consumer internet traffic in 2017 and has continued to grow ever since.

In its most recent State of the Internet report, Cisco observes that an internet-enabled HD TV used to watch shows for a few hours daily generates more traffic than a whole household. In part this is because we are streaming video in 4K.

In other words, even as the internet strains to handle the demands of tens of millions of workers worldwide fortunate enough to be able to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also struggling to handle the sheer quantity of video we are all consuming.

Video is by far the biggest consumer of bandwidth, and if we’re going to optimize how we make use of it, we’re going to need to reduce our consumption of it.

We all need to keep working, so it makes complete sense to reduce the quantity of video-related traffic we generate — or at least take steps to mitigate it.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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