The EBU has issued a recommendation for public service media organizations to continue their efforts to avoid internet congestion and manage the potential impact of streaming media consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic. The full text of the EBU Technical Recommendation is available on the EBU T&I website.

The Recommendation was approved by EBU Member representatives serving on the EBU’s Technical Committee in conjunction with the members of the Digital Steering Committee. It suggests to temporarily cap streaming bitrates at appropriate levels for different end-user devices, particularly during day-time, and that public service media (PSM) organizations encourage audiences to consume their offerings over broadcast rather than broadband, and on fixed broadband rather than mobile, where possible. 

It also calls on EBU Members to take an active role in coordinating national efforts and to engage with other media, network operators and regulatory agencies to collectively analyse and respond to the situation.

“Public service media organizations are playing a key role in managing the crisis – not only by continuing to inform, educate and entertain, but also by actively engaging with all stakeholders to ensure that broadcast and broadband infrastructure is used in the most efficient way”, said EBU Director of Technology & Innovation Antonio Arcidiacono.

Published as EBU R 149, the Technical Recommendation follows a call by the European Commission to help coordinate a European response to potential internet congestion issues that could be caused by stronger media consumption and the increased reliance on online collaboration tools during the COVID-19 crisis.

PSM are the primary means of communicating with citizens in national emergencies. The EBU Technical Recommendation reaffirms the commitment of all EBU Members to their public service media obligations when weighing measures to reduce the impact of their services on the internet. 

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