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Tuesday, 24 March 2020 10:50

Corona congestion: Netflix agrees to reduce traffic on telecom networks by 25 pc

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Agreeing to the request of telecom group COAI, the OTT platform Netflix said it is going to reduce traffic on telecom networks by 25 pc to mitigate congestion. It added that this will not impact quality of service for users in India. 

Companies like Amazon Prime Video are also temporarily lowering bit rates - a measure of how much data is being transferred - to ease pressure on telecom network infrastructure.

As reported, consumption of digital content has gone up manifold as people are forced to stay indoors as almost the entire country is under lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19.

Netflix VP Content Delivery Ken Florance said: “Given the crisis, we've developed a way to reduce Netflix's traffic on telecommunications networks by 25 per cent while also maintaining the quality of our service. So consumers should continue to get the quality that comes with their plan - whether it's Ultra-High, High or Standard Definition. This will provide significant relief to congested networks, and the measure will be deployed in India for the next 30 days.”

Recently, the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) had written to the government urging issuance of instructions to streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and others to initiate measures that will ease pressure on network infrastructure, which is needed for "critical" functions at this juncture.

Amazon said: "We support the need for careful management of telecom services to ensure they can handle the increased internet demand with so many people now at home full-time due to COVID-19...In India, we've already begun the effort to reduce streaming bitrates whilst maintaining a quality streaming experience for our customers.”

A Hotstar spokesperson had said the company's video streaming is based on adaptive bitrate streaming, which ensures that it is "lean" in internet consumption. However, the company said it is "prepared to reduce the bitrate for our HD streams, should the need arise".

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