COVID-19: Netflix to reduce network traffic by 25% in India

To prevent load on telecom network as more people work from home


As most states in India move into lockdown mode and a large population works from home during the coronavirus crisis, streaming platform Netflix said it will reduce traffic on telecom networks in India by 25 per cent. This is to prevent congestion on the communications network amid the pandemic.

Netflix, however, clarified that this will not affect the quality of services. To reduce pressure on the network, Amazon Prime Video will also be lowering bit rates temporarily. "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," Netflix VP Content Delivery Ken Florance said in a statement.

The company which has taken up similar measures in Europe said they will stick to this for 30 days in India. Netflix’s mobile-only plan that platform in India last year is quite popular in the country. Netflix has over 167 million users globally.

As people stay indoors and also work from home, consumption of digital content and pressure on communication networks have increased. Earlier this week, telecom companies in India had sought the intervention of OTT platforms to reduce pressure on the networks. The Cellular Operators Association of India had written to Department of Telecommunications to press the likes of Amazon, Netflix, YouTube, Hotstar, ZEE5, AltBalaji, Voot, SonyLiv, Hoichoi amongst others, to cut streaming loads.

With people forced to stay indoors and shutting of public spaces including movie theatres, demand for online streaming platforms and binge-watching has also gone up, according to reports.

However, the global entertainment industry is going through one of its biggest crisis periods with production being halted and major movie releases pushed indefinitely in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Netflix has shut down all of its scripted film and TV productions in the United States and Canada, including the widely popular series Stranger Things.

 -inputs from PTI

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