Netflix removes high bandwidth streams in Pakistan to match demand

Published March 26, 2020
Netflix logo is seen in front of diplayed coronavirus disease Covid-19 in this illustration taken March 19. — Reuters
Netflix logo is seen in front of diplayed coronavirus disease Covid-19 in this illustration taken March 19. — Reuters

In order to match increased demand, Netflix has removed the highest bandwidth streams in Pakistan, as well as across Europe and United Kingdom. The decision has been taken in order to reduce traffic so that more users can avail the service.

In a statement issued on Thursday, Ken Florance, the VP Content Delivery at Netflix, said: “Given the crisis, we’ve developed a way to reduce Netflix’s traffic on telecommunications networks by 25 per cent while also maintaining the quality of our service.

"So consumers should continue to get the quality that comes with their plan — whether it’s Ultra-High, High or Standard Definition. We believe that this will provide significant relief to congested networks and will be deploying it in Pakistan for the next 30 days," he added.

Despite the cut in high bandwidth streams in the country, Netflix continues to have measures in place to ensure network efficiency, the statement reads.

Earlier, the world’s largest streaming media service had said it would reduce bit rates across all of its streams in Europe, in effect cutting traffic on its European networks by 25pc to preserve the smooth functioning of the internet during the coronavirus crisis.

"Our goal is simple: to maintain the quality of service for our members, while supporting ISPs who are facing unprecedented strain on their networks," the company said in a statement.

While partners in regions such as Latin America want the company to reduce its bandwidth as soon as possible, others wanted to continue business as usual, Netflix said.

Netflix had over 42 million subscribers in Europe, Africa and the Middle East at the end of the first quarter of 2019, showed an exchange filing, with the bulk estimated to be in Europe.

The telecoms industry has in recent days reported a spike in data traffic on networks as thousands of people were forced to stay home in an attempt to curb the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, which has infected more than 274,800 people globally and led to the deaths of 11,389 people worldwide.

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