Netflix to cut traffic in India by 25% to ease data gridlock

Netflix Inc said on Tuesday it would reduce traffic over telecom networks in India by 25% over the next 30 days to ease data congestion as millions stay indoors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision comes after the streaming giant also reduced traffic on networks in Europe to help internet service providers (ISPs) experiencing a surge in usage.

Indian police enforced lockdowns across large parts of the country, with curfews in some places, as health officials warned that the coronavirus was spreading out of big cities, where it first appeared into the small towns that dot the landscape.

Mobile networks could come under increased pressure as lockdowns to slow the pandemic become stricter and broader.

Alphabet Inc's YouTube and Inc's also joined Netflix to cut picture quality to prevent overload in Europe.

"Given the crisis, we've developed a way to reduce Netflix's traffic on telecommunications networks by 25%, while also maintaining the quality of our service. So consumers should continue to get the quality that comes with their plan," Ken Florance, vice-president of content delivery said in a statement on Tuesday.

The producer of original series such as "The Crown" and "Sex Education," Netflix has over 16 million paying users in the Asia-Pacific region, but have not disclosed subscriber figures for India.