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Work from Home load: COAI asks Netflix, Hotstar, other OTTs to lower streaming quality

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Industry body Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has come into contact with the telecom department and over-the-top (OTT) companies such as Netflix, Hotstar, Voot, and Amazon Prime Video and has asked them to lower the streaming resolution so that the burden is reduced on the networks in the wake of people staying at home due to the coronavirus outbreak.

“We believe that during this critical time, it is absolutely essential for the streaming platforms to cooperate with TSPs to manage traffic distribution patterns which are likely to strain network infrastructure at a time when it is needed for various critical requirements,” COAI reportedly said in its letter to OTT platforms.

“This sudden surge in digital use is already putting pressure on the network infrastructure of the Telecom Service Providers (TSPs). The TSPs are taking requisite steps to manage this load and facilitate the smooth functioning of the networks during this critical time,” COAI further added.

In a letter to COAI, Airtel had said on the imminent load on the network as plenty more people will stay at home owing to coronavirus outbreak.

“Airtel has built a future ready and highly secure network with adequate capacity to serve the evolving needs of our customers. Given our massive investments in pan India 4G presence, a robust national optic fiber and global submarine cable footprint along with Data Centers, there is sufficient capacity to provide bandwidth on demand to our retail and enterprise customers,” an Airtel spokesperson was as quoted by Hindustan Times earlier this week.

Reliance Jio has already launched double data offer to millions of prepaid customers. Broadband players such as ACT Fibernet and BSNL have also rolled out special work from home schemes for the fixed line users.

A Netflix spokesperson has said that it will “begin reducing bit rates across all our streams in Europe for 30 days,”.

“We estimate that this will reduce Netflix traffic on European networks by around 25 percent while also ensuring a good quality service for our members,” the statement said.

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