iWant, YouTube, iFlix to cut streaming traffic while Luzon on coronavirus lockdown: NTC

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 28 2020 04:38 PM

MANILA - Streaming sites YouTube, iFlix and ABS-CBN’s iWant have agreed to cut down its streaming traffic to decongest telecommunication networks during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown when people are staying at home, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) said Saturday.

In a statement, NTC said the streaming sites “heeded their call” to manage streaming bitrate, given the increasing Internet demand for school, office, and work purposes amid a lockdown which encourages work from home and online educational arrangements.

“This means more bandwidth will be freed up to case data congestion due to work from home arrangements as well as increased private and education demands during the enhanced community quarantine,” NTC said.

NTC said Google, the parent company of YouTube, was “doing as much as it can to minimize stress on systems around the world” as people remain confined to their homes in the global pandemic.

YouTube is poised to shift from its High Definition setting to Standard Definition Setting in both mobile or broadband connection over the next few days, NTC added.

Southeast Asian streaming site iFlix had earlier done so by setting streaming caps in its services.

“iFlix will continuously balance bandwidth usage to use as little data as possible while optimizing resolution for its users,” NTC said.

ABS-CBN network’s streaming site, on the other hand, “has already reduced its streaming bitrate by 33 percent” since March 27, NTC noted.

Netflix was the first to announce it would reduce streaming traffic amid the coronavirus lockdown.

Luzon, home to more than 50 million people, is on lockdown until April 12. Under this enhanced community quarantine, people are required to stay at home and public transport, school and work, save for frontline and basic services, are suspended.

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