Netflix is reportedly reverting back to full quality video streams as network capacity is proven to handle the extra strain during lockdown.
Like almost all other streaming services, it had reduced its bitrates from the end of March in order to avoid overloading networks across Europe and beyond. However, data from the likes of the UK's communications regulator Ofcom shows that network capacity coped with increased demand, even during the busiest periods.
The European Union and others at governmental level in several countries were concerned that the combination of working from home, homeschooling, plus entertainment and gaming, could result in dramatic slow down of internet speeds. But, Ofcom's latest home broadband performance report found that download and upload speeds only fell by an average of two and one per cent respectively, after the UK's lockdown measures were introduced.
Even latency was only affected by around two per cent - which was barely noticeable for the vast amount of internet users.
It also reports that BT saw just a 35 to 60 per cent rise in traffic use during weekdays, which it said was still well below the average evening peaktime use before lockdown.
Even Netflix download speeds specifically were seen to have fallen by just three per cent, even during its busiest periods.
So, essentially, the UK's internet networks are well set to handle an return to pre-lockdown bitrates and video quality from streaming services - with Netflix the first said to be starting to return to normal.
Indeed, some are reporting that their Netflix streams have already been restored.
FlatpanelsHD writes that several users in Denmark, Norway, Germany and other European countries have seen a rise in bitrates again, back to around 15Mb/s for 4K HDR in some cases.
It hasn't happened universally yet - we're still maxed out at 7.62Mb/s at 4K HDR on the LG OLED TV in the Pocket-lint office - but is on its way soon, it seems:
"Please note, we are working with ISPs to help increase capacity. In the last month alone we have added four times the normal capacity. As conditions improve we will lift these limitations," Netflix said in a statement to FlatpanelsHD.
Hopefully we'll all see video performance rise in the coming days and weeks. Certainly in the UK, our infrastructure can cope.