Netflix cuts streaming traffic in Philippines to ease lockdown strain on internet

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 25 2020 03:01 PM

MANILA -- Netflix said Wednesday it would reduce streaming traffic in the Philippines by 25 percent, on the request of the government, to help decongest telecommunications networks during the coronavirus lockdown.

Freeing up bandwidth will not be felt by consumers since it is more of back-end engineering process, Netflix said, with millions under home quarantine, driving internet demand for work and entertainment.

The National Telecommunications Commission on Wednesday asked Netflix to help free up bandwidth due to high data demand. Similar reductions were applied in Israel, Australia, Mexico and India, the US-based streaming service said.

"Given the crisis, we've developed a way to reduce Netflix' traffic on telecommunications networks by 25 percent while also maintaining the quality of our services," Netflix vice president for Content Delivery Ken Florance said in a blog post.

"We believe that this will provide significant relief to congested network and will be deploying it in the Philippines for the next 30 days," he said.

Consumers will still get what they paid for based on their subscription, whether HD, UHD or SD. Unlike in the past, however, streaming won’t be taken to higher bandwidths when devices and connections allow it.

Luzon, home to half of the Philippines' 100 million people is on lockdown until April 12. During which, people are required to stay at home and public transport is suspended. Movement is limited to food, medicine and frontline workers.