Tech giants Facebook and Instagram on Tuesday will be lowering video quality in India as well as Latin America. The decision comes in a bid to manage the unprecedented load on internet infrastructure. Internet speeds continue to come down as more people stay at home during the Coronavirus lockdown.
“To help alleviate any potential network congestion, we will temporarily reduce bit rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in India. We are committed to working with our partners to manage any bandwidth constraints during this period of heavy demand, while also ensuring people are able to remain connected using Facebook apps and services during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said a Facebook spokesperson.
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The steps are being taken to help users and the community at large handle bandwidth constraints and keep people in touch. Earlier, Facebook and Instagram lowered its video quality in Europe, the hardest hit continent due to the pandemic. Moreover, Amazon, as well as Apple, also reduced its streaming quality in Europe in order to lessen the load on broadband networks.
Meanwhile in India, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) recently wrote to over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms like Netflix. The letter asked the platforms to ensure smooth video streaming across the country by switching to Standard Definition (SD). Streaming speeds continue to get affected as people are staying indoors. The further load is generated as working professionals indulge in work-from-home practices amidst the coronavirus crisis. The industry body has also written a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) urging the government to issue advisories to the players concerned about this issue.
The Coronavirus pandemic today crossed over 500 cases in India with 10 deaths so far. The global count has so far crossed 3,92,300 cases and over 17,200 deaths. Epicenter China and Italy remain the most heavily hit countries due to the virus.
(With inputs from IANS)