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Internet traffic in Pakistan has surged 15% amid COVID-19 lockdown, according to Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA). This spike has occurred in spite the fact that Netflix and YouTube have reduced their bandwidth requirements during the current health crisis. Netflix says it has cut its bandwidth use by 25% without sacrificing quality. Google's YouTube video platform has decided to temporarily change the quality of all videos on YouTube to standard definition.The increased traffic is mainly due to people working from homes. Pakistan has nearly 80 million
broadband subscribers as of now.
In an announcement on March 26, 2019, PTA reported "net increase of around 15% in internet usage was witnessed since last week as the country fights against Coronavirus". PTA went on to assure users that "there is sufficient internet capacity available in the country to meet the growing demands of the future". This surge in Internet traffic has occurred in spite of Netflix and YouTube cutting their bandwidth requirements.
Netflix notified PTA in March that "it has developed ways to reduce Netflix’s traffic on telecommunications networks by 25% while also maintaining the quality of service" during the COVID19 pandemic. This action is aimed at reducing stress on the network as people are forced to work from home.
Google's YouTube video platform has decided to temporarily change the quality of all videos on YouTube to standard definition. In addition, Google has launched "Bolo" in Pakistan. It is a speech-based reading app in Urdu that uses machine learning to help children read aloud confidently, using their own voice. A free English app has also been introduced that includes fast and easy lessons on business, marketing, management, and more.
Google has added new features and resources to provide locally relevant information to Pakistani users. These include expansion of COVID-19 SOS Alerts and Knowledge Panels on Google Search, as well as YouTube Information Panels. These product features link to National Institute of Health (NIH), to provide locally relevant information to Pakistani citizens.
Google is also offering ad inventory to the Ministry of National Health Services so they can spotlight timely, helpful information. Google has also shared tips and resources for remote workers and students enabling them to improve their productivity. These include a new collection of distance learning solutions, training, and resources to help teachers and students stay connected.
Pakistan has seen a 15% surge in Internet traffic since the coronavirus lockdown started forcing many people to work from home. This traffic spike has occurred in spite of bandwidth hogs like Netflix and YouTube cutting their bandwidth requirements. Pakistan has nearly 80 million subscribers.