Indian Telecoms asking Netflix, Prime Video and others to limit videos quality to SD


With the crescent surge of COVID-19 pandemic, many governments adopted strict measures to avoid further spread of the virus. People need to stay at home, to stay safe and avoid a massive collapse of health systems. After all, no country can deal with a massive number of infected people at the same time. Since more people are at home, services like NetFlix, Amazon’s Prime Video and YouTube have seen exponential growth in the past weeks. In Europe, network providers asked these streaming services to limit video quality to SD. Now, Indian Telecoms are asking the same.

They are appealing to OTT services so they can offer stable services to healthcare, banking, education, business and other amid lockdown across India due to Coronavirus outbreak. The Cellular Operators Association of India which comprises of the country’s telecom operators such as Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea also requested the popular video streaming services in the country to temporarily offer SD playback over HD and above quality. The measure should be taken until the lockdown persists. The association has also asked them to avoid feeding high-bandwidth consuming advertisements and pop-ups to users.

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The Internet Providers should prioritize healthcare, digital education, and digital banking transactions amidst lockdown

The director-general of the Association, Rajan Mathews, told Economic Times that they have appealed Department of Telecommunications as well as Home Ministry to urge “video streaming service providers/broadcasters” to manage their traffic distribution pattern. The measure will ensure that they won’t stress the networks of telcos. By this, the network infrastructure will go for other important needs. In the lockdown times, online/digital education, digital banking transactions, and healthcare are the top priorities needing an internet connection.

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It’s just a matter of time until video streaming services decide to comply with the Indian telecoms. The same happened in Europe, where Netflix and Prime video decided to limit playback to SD quality. We don’t know how other companies and services will act in India. But we will know soon enough.

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