Disney to Limit Disney+ Streaming Traffic in Europe to Ease Coronavirus-Related Congestion

The Mandalorian Still 9 - Disney+ Publicity -H 2019
Courtesy of Disney+

Following a request from the French government, Disney+ will also launch in France two weeks later than originally planned.

Disney has announced that it will put in place a measure to lower the overall bandwidth utilization of its Disney+ service when it launches in Europe later this month, as the continent deals with heavily burdened networks amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"In line with Disney’s longstanding commitment to act responsibly, we are responding to the request of European Commissioner for Internal Market Thierry Breton to work together to ensure the smooth functioning of the broadband infrastructure," said Kevin Mayer, Disney's chairman direct-to-consumer and international.

"In anticipation of high consumer demand for Disney+, we are proactively instituting measures to lower our overall bandwidth utilization by at least 25 percent in all of the markets launching Disney+ on March 24th. In the coming days, we will be monitoring Internet congestion and working closely with internet service providers to further reduce bit rates as necessary to ensure they are not overwhelmed by consumer demand."

The announcement follows on the heels of similar moves by both Netflix and YouTube, and comes just three days before Disney+ launches in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and Switzerland. France, however, will now have to wait a further two weeks, with Disney now delaying the launch until April 7. 

"To our French fans, the Disney+ service is coming, but at the request of the French government, we have agreed to postpone the launch until Tuesday, 7 April 2020," said Mayer.