Too much Netflix? Streaming service agrees to ease a bit
Richmond Mercurio (The Philippine Star) - March 27, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — US entertainment giant Netflix has agreed to manage its streaming bit rate in the Philippines following the government’s request to ease data congestion for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

The National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) said Netflix has accepted its call to effectively and efficiently manage its bit rate to mitigate network congestion.

According to the NTC, such measure would help free up bandwidth as the increased demand by subscribers may risk overloading capacity during the month-long quarantine period.

This comes as data consumption is expected to surge due to the work from home arrangements as well as increased government, private and education demands.

“In its reply, Netflix Pte. Ltd. agreed to the measure. Netflix’s move will provide significant relief to congested networks for the next 30 days,” the NTC said.

“Netflix also conveyed solidarity and support to the Philippine government’s efforts, recognizing that the internet should continue to run smoothly at this time,” the agency said.

The NTC said that Netflix has developed a way to reduce its traffic on telecommunications networks by 25 percent while maintaining the quality of service.

As such, Netflix assured its customers that they would continue to get the quality that comes with their plan, whether its ultra-high, high or standard definition.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology in a memorandum dated March 12 has directed the NTC to monitor the compliance of all operating mobile network operators and internet service providers in providing ample bandwidth allocation and availability of service and signal based on their respective service level agreements.

The Philippine Chamber of Telecommunications Operators (PCTO), meanwhile, has urged the public to use the internet more responsibly as network traffic from home users are expected to spike during the month-long enhanced community quarantine in the entire island of Luzon.

According to the PCTO, home and mobile broadband networks may become strained quickly with more users accessing the internet simultaneously, unlike robust enterprise networks used by businesses.

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