Netflix and YouTube will reduce streaming quality to prevent the internet collapsing under the strain of unprecedented usage due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Netflix said it will reduce traffic on telecommunications networks by 25 per cent while maintaining the quality of service for users in India, while Facebook said it will temporarily reduce bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram. YouTube said it is temporarily defaulting all videos to standard definition.
“We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimise stress on the system during this unprecedented situation. Last week, we announced that we were temporarily defaulting all videos on YouTube to standard definition in the EU. Given the global nature of this crisis, we will expand that change globally starting today,” a Google spokesperson said.
Recently, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) had written to the government urging issuance of instructions to streaming platforms like Netflix, Prime Video and others to initiate measures that will ease pressure on network infrastructure, which is needed for “critical” functions at this juncture.
Consumption of digital content has gone up manifold as people are forced to stay indoors and employees are working from home as almost the entire country is under lockdown to contain the spread of the deadly COVID-19.
Therefore, these companies are making sure that mobile and network congestion doesn’t take place at this time, which can lead to worsening of situation.