Facebook to reduce video bitrate during Luzon quarantine —DICT

Facebook to reduce video bitrate during Luzon quarantine —DICT

Facebook Philippines will temporarily reduce bitrate for videos on Facebook and Instagram to reduce data congestion during the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine when many people are staying at home, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) said Thursday.

The social media giant heeded the DICT’s call to ensure Internet stability in the Philippines during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

“The measure is expected to address network congestion and free up bandwidth allocation that may be used for other vital online services,” it said.

Bitrate refers to the amount of data, in bits per second, that is transmitted through a digital network.

Facebook is working closely with mobile operators in the Philippines to manage any bandwidth constraints during the crisis, according to the DICT.

Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan II said the imposition of enhanced community quarantine is causing a significant surge in the usage of digital services and streaming platforms which strains the country’s Internet infrastructure.

He expressed his appreciation for the online streaming platforms that have heeded the DICT’s call to help ease data congestion.

“Along with food, water, and medicine, connectivity is vital for the people right now. With the participation of our private sector, we hope to maintain and improve the Filipino’s Internet connectivity during this crisis,” Honasan said.

Online streaming platforms Netflix, Google, iFlix and iWant have taken similar measures as requested by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).

The DICT, with the guidance of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and along with its attached agencies, aim to provide enhanced Internet experience to the public during the COVID-19 public health emergency. –Ted Cordero/KBK, GMA News

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