YouTube, Netflix, Showmax and DStv Now have implemented data traffic control in South Africa to reduce the strain on the country’s infrastructure during the national lockdown period. YouTube comes at no change as this was already implemented worldwide last week but Netflix, up to now, still remained at full throttle along with Showmax and DStv Now.

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That will change now as Netflix revealed the streaming provider will be throttling African countries for the next 30 days starting today. In a statement sent to Stuff SA, Netflix said that this throttle will not have an effect on streaming quality.

We will maintain the quality of service for members who will still have HD – and also, we’re doing this to play our part in MITIGATING CONGESTION TO THE NETWORK across the African continent.

It is unclear what Netflix means by “it will not have an effect on streaming quality” but from what we gather, it could mean all users will be pushed down to HD when streaming 4K content. This would be following in the US and EU’s footsteps as the streaming provider implemented the same throttling in those territories.

Showmax confirmed with us that they have also implemented some changes to their systems that will reduce congestion.

Late last week we implemented data traffic reduction measures, focusing specifically on mobile traffic. We’ve limited the maximum resolution for both Showmax and DStv Now live streaming to 576p on our mobile apps. We’re also busy with some other measures and are working closely with ISPs to monitor the situation. If needed we’ll step in with further traffic reduction measures

Here’s how streaming services have reduced quality in SA in the time being;

  • Netflix – reduced all streaming to HD
  • YouTube – reduced all videos to SD (users can increase this again manually)
  • Showmax – reduced streams to 576p
  • DStv Now – reduced streams to 576p

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