Exclusive: Netflix has started peering with Mumbai Convergence Hub (MumbaiCH), India’s second largest Internet exchange, a MumbaiCH official told MediaNama. The development was confirmed by Netflix’s addition to MumbaiCH’s list of participants. Netflix has installed multiple “points of presence” (POPs) in a MumbaiCH partner datacenter. This means that Netflix subscribers who are on MumbaiCH’s member ISPs’ networks will be able to stream Netflix streams directly from MumbaiCH’s Netflix POP. On other ISPs, Netflix streams videos from servers located in countries like Singapore, New York, Dubai, Seattle, and so on. As of January this year, Netflix India had up to 300,000 subscribers, as we reported exclusively.
MumbaiCH’s members include a large number of small and medium-sized Internet providers. Akamai, a content delivery network (CDN) provider that provides distribution for many companies like Hotstar, Rediff, Practo and HT Media, is a MumbaiCH member.
MediaNama has reached out to Netflix for comment, and we will update this post if we hear back.
Netflix’s CDN expansion in India
Earlier this year, MediaNama reported that Netflix had begun deploying caches of its catalogue to Internet providers in India and Pakistan. These caches, embedded directly in Internet providers’ networks, serve Netflix video traffic directly from an ISP’s last mile network. A POP in a large Internet exchange, however, is like a “mothership” compared to these caches, the MumbaiCH official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told MediaNama. So far, these caches have been installed in ACT Broadband, YOU Broadband, and Hathway’s networks. While these local caches are only in five cities, MumbaiCH’s POP will help provide faster delivery of Netflix traffic for all the ISPs affiliated to it around the country.
Last month, Netflix filed a response to India’s telecom regulator TRAI’s consultation paper on Net Neutrality, arguing that CDNs, such as the one it has built, should not be regulated by Net Neutrality regulations.
Remember that Netflix is currently looking for an executive to manage relationships with Internet providers in India.
The company has done content deals with Shah Rukh Khan, a stand-up comedy special with Vir Das, and announced Sacred Games, a TV series that will be produced by Phantom. Netflix will be opening an office in Mumbai soon, and has already started posting jobs for the new location.