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Google joins internet congestion relief efforts by reducing Nest Cam video quality


As the coronavirus pandemic took over the world and most families are still required to remain at home, an expected rise in internet traffic occurred. Many turned to the internet for news, entertainment, to continue their work or education, and remain in touch with friends and relatives.

This has the potential to cause network congestion, leading to slow downs and reduced web stability in some regions, where networks are now carrying more data than they can handle. To help this, particularly in Europe, some services, Netflix included, have reduced their video streaming to standard quality, in order to avoid straining the local internet.

In late March, Facebook and Instagram also reduced their video quality, with YouTube to follow suit. Google stated that the company is “making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default.”

Now Google has plans to lower its quality for its Nest cameras, in order to conserve internet resources. As the company told TechCrunch, “these changes have the potential to help make it easier for communities to keep up with school, work, and everything in between.”

The adjustment of Google Nest camera quality is to roll out over the next few days, with Google noting that users will get a notification in the Nest app when their quality settings are adjusted.

This isn’t the company’s first move in an effort to help people continue their work and study during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, Google made Premium Google Meet access available to users for free, and it’s to remain so all the way through 2020. Google’s Sundar Pichai stated that this too was in an effort to help businesses and schools stay connected over the internet, while people are complying with the coronavirus lockdown.



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