Google, Netflix apprise PTA on steps taken in the wake of coronavirus

Web Desk
April 01, 2020

'Google has introduced new features and resources to provide locally relevant information to Pakistani users.'

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Global Service Providers including Google and Netflix apprised Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on steps taken to support and ease out stress on national telecommunications networks in the wake of coronavirus, a press release said on Wednesday.

"Google has introduced 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," the statement said.

"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," it read.

The search engine informed that it has 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.

It has also launched 'Bolo'a speech-based reading app that uses machine learning to help children read aloud confidently, using their own voice. The app has been made available in Urdu given school closures. A free English app has been introduced that includes fast and easy lessons on business, marketing, management, and more.

Further, Google informed PTA that it has been removing misinformation and abuse related to COVID- 19 across its platforms. The company is working with governments and network operators to minimise stress on the systems. As part of this, Google has recently announced that they are temporarily defaulting all videos on YouTube to standard definition.

Meanwhile, "Netflix has also informed that in order to reduce its traffic on telecommunication networks in Pakistan during the COVID-19 pandemic it has developed ways to reduce Netflix’s traffic on telecommunications networks by 25% while also maintaining the quality of service. This will be applicable for 30 days and will be re-evaluated after this duration ends," the statement read.

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