Netflix, Facebook to cut data traffic in India to ease network congestion

Netflix, Facebook to cut data traffic in India to ease network congestion

Streaming service Netflix Inc and social media giant Facebook Inc said on Tuesday that they would reduce the amount of data their services use to reduce congested telecommunications networks in India, where millions use home internet during a lockout to counter the virus outbreak.

Netflix will cut traffic over Indian telecom networks by 25% over the next 30 days, the company said in a statement, following similar steps in Europe to help ISPs increase usage. The producer of original shows such as “The Crown” and “Sex Education”, Netflix has more than 16 million paying users in the Asia-Pacific region, but does not publish any subscriber figures for India.

Facebook said it will temporarily decrease bit rates or reduce image quality for videos on Facebook and Instagram in India, the company’s largest market by the number of users. India has maintained lockdowns in several cities, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a nationwide midnight shutdown of 21 days on Tuesday to stem the spread of the corona virus.

Mobile networks are likely to come under greater pressure as people increasingly use home internet to work and stream content online. Earlier this week, Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video service said it had started to cut streaming bit rates in India, while Walt Disney, Co-controlled local rival Hotstar, said it was willing to cut the bitrate for its lower high-definition streams if needed.

YouTube from Amazon and Alphabet Inc have also lowered image quality in Europe to avoid overloading.

(This story has not been edited by staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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