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Netflix slows down traffic on telecom networks to manage congestion as India enters 21-day lockdown


With theatres and malls shut, the OTT platform has had to purposely slow down the growing traffic on the site owing to the lockdown across the country.

Our Correspondent

With the whole country in a lockdown emergency, cinephiles have had to turn to OTT service providers for their daily dose of cinema. However, that has resulted in an unplanned and unprecedented pressure on the telecom service providers. In view of this problem, Netflix India has chosen to reduce traffic on telecommunication networks by 25% to help ease traffic congestion.

A report from the Press Trust of India news agency quoted Netflix vice-president (content delivery) Ken Florance saying, "Given the crisis, we have developed a way to reduce Netflix’s traffic on telecommunications networks by 25% while 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."

Amazon Prime Video and other OTT platforms are also reportedly working to lower the rate at which data is transferred to help ease the traffic on telecom networks. The PTI report quoted an Amazon Prime Video spokesperson as saying, "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 have already begun the effort to reduce streaming bit-rates whilst maintaining a quality streaming experience for our customers."

Netflix India confirmed that the measure will be deployed across India over the next 30 days.

Earlier this week, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had written to the Union home ministry to advise OTT platforms to better manage their traffic to prevent telecom networks from being overburdened in the time of a national crisis.

In view of the coronavirus pandemic, the government of India has ordered a 21-day lockdown beginning 24 March 2020.

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Netflix Amazon Prime Video Coronavirus