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TikTok Affecting Internet Speed in Nepal; ISPs Claim

People over the internet have been complaining about the slow internet at their homes in this pandemic period. Well, sources also claim that there have been many complaints about the buffering of the internet as well. So, regarding this issue, ISP claims that this lagging has been faced by the customers because of TikTok, which is affecting the internet speed during peak hours.

TikTok and Internet speed

Moreover, they also suggest that the excessive usage of TikTok has caused huge traffic and since it’s consuming a lot of data usage, it has respectively affected the internet quality. Allegedly, Kantipur also published a news report about how the excessive use of TikTok has caused a bandwidth problem affecting the internet quality.

Although the usage of applications like Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok was expected in this lockdown, ISPs were not prepared for this level of TikTok usage. It is all due to people staying at home and consuming TikTok like never before. The prohibition of the TikTok app in several countries making big news also prompted people to use and get addicted to this video snippet app. Read Internet speed slows down due to lockdown.

TikTok affecting the internet speed

ISPs manage the internet bandwidth for several applications by installing a local cache server which not only makes the content delivery fast but also saves the international bandwidth.  Internet service providers in Nepal are also serving TikTok through the local caching servers.

As per Kantipur, 13 Gbps TikTok Traffic was being served from cache, in Jestha 1. Which later increased to 40 Gbps. This was saving 40 Gbps international traffic. However, with the change of protocol to https, TikTok usage hasn’t been getting local cache traffic due to the technical issue.

Tiktok uses AKAMAI CDN (Content Delivery Network) to serve the local traffic promptly, which saves a lot of international bandwidth. Whereas the AKAMAI server’s capacity is also full in this pandemic situation and the ISPs are not in a position to enhance the server capacity instantly. This results to use the international bandwidth when the demand exceeds the cache server’s capacity.

According to ISPs, TikTok is currently consuming 175 Gbps international bandwidth during peak hours, Kantipur further writes. That’s 25 percent of the total international traffic of Nepal, which is having a big impact on internet speed and international bandwidth management for the ISP.  This proves that Nepal’s Internet service providers were not anticipating this much traffic change.

With a little arithmetic on the TikTok, the total international bandwidth consumption in Nepal for now is 700Gbps.

As per some reports, they have already started downgrading the bandwidth utilization for TikTok during peak hours which can result in poor video quality at that period.

Read Best ISP in Nepal; Comparing Speed and offers.

NTA to study

With the pile-up of issues regarding internet speed, the ISPs have sought the support of NTA to resolve the issue. ISPs have pointed out a few solutions like decreasing the resolution of the video streaming, increasing the server capacity of AKAMAI CDN, or Increase the internet fare. Taking that into considerations and following international practices, NTA is currently performing a study on this matter and will come up with a precise solution soon.

We had asked people regarding the recent internet issue on our Facebook page. This is what they commented on the post.

Hard times for ISPs

Summing up, as per ISPs, the excessive use of TikTok has created a bigger problem at a time when providing better and efficient service was already a challenge. International traffic has increased significantly since the lockdown started, putting a huge financial burden on their business.

On the other hand, the service providers were unhappy that they have not been able to raise internet fares due to the lockdown. Due to which, they claim that they are not in a position to expand the infrastructure further to meet the demand.

The service providers have said that the use of TikTok will continue to increase at the same pace. If the ISPs cannot manage the situation, then there could be a massive degradation in the quality of the internet in Nepal. Moreover, TikTok will continue affecting internet speed in Nepal.

The impact of high utilization could be less on the ISPs with fewer customers like Prabhu Net, Dish Home Internet. While some Nepal Telecom Fiber customers also claim to have less impacted with the higher usage.

Customers Voice

People claim that there are numerous other video platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and so on. They opine that TikTok solely cannot be a sole problem creator. Adding up,  people express that they will continue to use whatever services they want (including TikTok) with the promised bandwidth. Read People’s expectations with internet service in Nepal.

People are arguing that ISPs are just blaming the applications and customers to hide their poor infrastructure that is the actual reason for the sluggish internet. Moreover, they point out that the ISPs were investing a little in the infrastructure before, while making a huge profit out of the service they sold. But, now that the slow speed issue is raising on a large scale, they can do nothing but to put a blame on the TikTok. Well, this is the common belief of the customers.

We suggest you read How to improve the speed of your home internet yourself?

Here, we have discussed the issue of slow internet speed due to such high usage of TikTok and the claim of ISPs and Customers. Please put your opinion below for the resolution of this slow internet speed issue.

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