Covid-19: Netflix to reduce traffic on telecom networks by 25% to mitigate congestion

NEW DELHI: Video streaming major Netflix on Tuesday said it will reduce traffic on telecommunications networks by 25 per cent while maintaining the quality of service for users in India, as part of its efforts to help mitigate network congestion amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

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.

"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 an emailed statement.

He added this will provide significant relief to congested networks, and the measure will be deployed in India for the next 30 days.

The company, which has over 167 million users globally, has already undertaken similar measures in Europe. It doesn't provide country-specific subscriber numbers.

Netflix typically has many different streams for a single title within each resolution. This action would result in removal of the highest bandwidth streams, and so, subscribers will continue to have access to the service they have paid for (Ultra-High Definition, High Definition or Standard Definition) depending on the device they use.

In India, Netflix has a significant number of subscribers on the Mobile Plan which is Standard Definition.