Video streaming players, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hotstar, have lowered the quality of the content to 480p (standard definition) on cellular networks. The decision was taken in the wake of an unprecedented surge in the consumption of online content in India. People have been asked to work from home amid the Coronavirus outbreak, and the country is currently under a 21-day complete lockdown that was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Lower bitrate content means that people won’t be able to enjoy videos, shows, and movies in high quality, however, this will reduce the stress on telecom networks. According to a report, this move is only for cellular networks and not for broadband services. The companies that have taken the decision are Disney India, Google India (YouTube), Facebook, Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Sony Pictures Networks, Amazon Prime Video, Tiktok, Netflix, MX Player, and Hotstar.
‘The government and the telecom operators are concerned about the total lockdown’s potential impact on the cellular network infrastructure. The digital industry is acutely aware of this challenge and is committed to ensuring that all citizens are able to access mobile networks whenever and wherever they want,’ a statement read.
The internet speeds in India have gone down dramatically. People have been mandated to work from home amid the Coronavirus outbreak. The number of devices that use an internet connection is the same, but since there are now more users that use the same connection at a given time, the connection speed has lowered.
Activities like streaming videos, downloading data, and video conferencing consume a lot of data if done simultaneously. As a result, the hardware that provides data reaches its maximum working capacity and eventually the internet speed drops.
To get good speed, either you have to upgrade your hardware, which seems impossible due to the lockdown or use the internet judiciously. You can set time slots for using the internet for streaming, downloading, and working. Also, you can also prioritise tasks like video conferencing over other activities while you are on the call.
A similar problem was reported in Europe, and the companies have taken similar steps to reduce the strain on telecom broadband networks.