Trying times evoke the best in all. At a critical time when the nation is locked with the menacing COVID-19 pandemic and government medical, security and other aid and relief teams need crucial cellular bandwidth, several Indian digital leaders have decided to temporarily default their HD and ultra-HD streaming to SD content or offering only SD content, at bitrates no higher than 480p on cellular networks. These voluntary measures will be in effect until April 14. and will help make cellular bandwidth available for medical and contagion-control teams, as also for all of India which is working from home to keep businesses alive.
Acutely aware of the challenge and committed to ensuring that all citizens are able to access mobile networks wherever and whenever they want, the Digital Industry met yesterday at a meeting organized by Uday Shankar, Chairman, Star & Disney India, with key stakeholders of the digital industry. The meeting, held virtually, was attended by NP Singh (Sony), Sanjay Gupta (Google), Ajit Mohan (Facebook), Sudhanshu Vats (Viacom18), Gaurav Gandhi (Amazon Prime Video), Punit Goenka (ZEE), Nikhil Gandhi (Tiktok), Ambika Khurana (Netflix), Karan Bedi (MX Player) and Varun Narang (Hotstar). The leaders decided to act immediately in the larger national and consumer interest and to help ensure the robustness of the cellular network.
It will be recalled that the Prime Minister has called for social distancing, and the now total lockdown has led to people confined to their homes, working from there. This has caused an unprecedented surge in mobile internet consumption. As a result,the Government and the telecom operators have been concerned about its potential impact on the cellular network infrastructure. This laudable initiative by leaders of some of the biggest Digital entities with the largest connects with the masses will drive very significant savings in the consumption of cellular data, which is critically required for India’s biggest national crises in a very long time.
One expects that should the unfortunate requirement of complete lockdown need to be extended beyond the 3 weeks announced yesterday, the India’s Digital Industry will continue to help the National interest.