YouTube lowers streaming quality due to coronavirus pandemic
The company said in a statement that it is “making a commitment to temporarily switch all traffic in the EU to standard definition by default.” If you live in Europe and see that your YouTube video is streamed in SD quality, then this is why.
YouTube's decision, just like in Netflix's case, comes after European Union officials asked streaming platforms to try and reduce their load on Europe's infrastructure to avoid internet disruptions.
This is a temporary solution that only affects European countries, but it might be imposed in other regions as well if required. Many carriers across the continent reported a spike in data traffic, including those in North America, but most European network operators claim they have no issues at the moment handling the increased demand.