We are currently in a global pandemic that affects dozens of countries, including Spain. The Coronavirus has spread rapidly, and users consume more bandwidth due to confinement. It is because of that some companies like YouTube have reduced their streaming quality.
Additionally, YouTube is planning that the default setting for all videos is SD (standard definition) also known as 480p in Europe. However, it can be changed easily from the application settings.
YouTube reduces its video quality to 480p due to the Coronavirus
YouTube will implement this standard in all parts of the world, for a month to limit Internet bandwidth. Obviously, there is the possibility of an extension after that month passes.
This means that when you want to play any video from the Google platform, SD content will start to be displayed (480p), but you can still manually choose to increase the resolution if you wish. This will have to be done for each video. So YouTube is betting that a lot of people will not go through that procedure of upscaling, and thus this move will ease the pressure on ISPs.
This increase in bandwidth is due to the fact that millions of people now work from home, so they have a lot of time to consume their favorite content or discover new ones.
Despite this social isolation, the global Internet network has not suffered drops and continues to function normally. Rather, it seems like a preventive measure for the months it takes to solve the pandemic.