COVID-19 lockdown effect: With Work-From-Home policy and binge watching, ISP and OTT platforms struggle to keep up with the increased usage and required speed

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Due to COVID-19 shutdown, almost every working professional is now working from home and others are binge-watching their favourite shows and films on OTT platforms. With a large part of the population adopting work-from-home policy and turning to Netflix or Amazon Prime to unwind, the Internet Service Providers (ISP) across the board have been struggling to keep up with the increased usage.

In the first step to reducing the bandwidth usage, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) wrote to OTT giants to forgo their HD option, last week. Netflix India, Amazon Prime, and Hotstar, among others, promptly complied with the request. The official spokesperson of Amazon Prime stated, "We are working with mobile and ISP to help mitigate network congestion. We've already begun the effort to reduce streaming bit rates."

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Even though the OTT platforms have accepted COAI's request to remove their HD option and reduce streaming bit rates, these online platforms are make sure to put new content every day for their users amidst the lockdown. A source from a streaming platform explained, "The time spent on an OTT platform has gone up by three hours on an average, globally."

With a drastic shift in consumer usage patterns, Internet providers will have to take adequate measures. "Each service provider will have to increase their bandwidth. But with networks offering special work-from-home plans, the pressure is only increasing."

(Source: Mid Day)

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