As the nation goes into lockdown because of the Coronavirus outbreak, internet usage has seen a general spike. After all, most people are home consuming content at this point. Even Netflix had to reduce the load on telecom companies by 25% but still maintained streaming quality. Just last week, Youtube announced that it would be defaulting to standard definition in Europe so as to not overload bandwidth availability for about 30 days. It’s clear that the world was not prepared to handle a pandemic like the Covid-19 outbreak.
In India, Youtube will essentially play all default videos at 480p. You can manually head into the settings and change the resolution but the default setting will be 480p. A Google spokesperson also said in a statement, “We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation. Last week, we announced that we were temporarily defaulting all videos on YouTube to standard definition in the EU. Given the global nature of this crisis, we will expand that change globally starting today.”
From what little we know, there have been few changes in peak traffic and most changes can be seen in usage patterns but despite that, Youtube is doing its part to minimise the stress on bandwidth. So, if you come across videos that start in 480p, don’t worry, it’s not your connection going out but Youtube actively lowering bandwidth for default settings.