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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: Google-owned YouTube on Wednesday announced that it is reducing streaming quality for users in India in order "to reduce strain on Internet networks during the coronavirus pandemic."

In India, YouTube will temporarily default HD and ultra-HD streaming to SD content at bitrates no higher than 480p on mobile networks, until March 31.

"We continue to work closely with governments and network operators around the globe to do our part to minimize stress on the system during this unprecedented situation," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.

"Last week, we announced that we were temporarily defaulting all videos on YouTube to standard definition in the EU. Given the global nature of this crisis, we will expand that change globally starting today," the spokesperson added.

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Last week, Google announced that YouTube streaming rates in Europe would be moved to Standard Definition as default rather than High Definition in an effort to assuage lag times.

YouTube has seen little change in the peaks, and have mostly seen changes in usage patterns from more people at home-expanding across additional hours and lower usage peaks.

"Despite that, we're taking this action globally to do our part to minimize stress on the system," according to YouTube.

In addition to YouTube, streaming-video services Netflix, Amazon, Disney Plus and Apple have also moved to reduce bandwidth utilization in Europe.

Facebook, Instagram reduce streaming quality in India

In a bid to manage the unprecedented load on Internet infrastructure as more people stay home during the lockdown, Facebook and Instagram on Tuesday announced to lower video quality in India as well as Latin America.

"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," a Facebook company spokesperson told IANS.

The step is being taken to help our users and community handle bandwidth constraints and keep people in touch.


Earlier, Facebook and Instagram lowered their video quality in Europe.

Additionally, Amazon, as well as Apple, also reduced their streaming quality in Europe in order to lessen the load on broadband network.

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In India, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has written to over-the-top (OTT) streaming platforms to ensure smooth video streaming across the country as people are staying indoors and taking to work-from-home amid 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 on this issue.


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