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Netflix India peering update: Jio installs caches, Netflix peers with another Mumbai exchange

Jio has installed Netflix Open Connect Appliances in Mumbai and Chennai, MediaNama has learnt. OCAs are proprietary caches made by Netflix which store popular content within an ISP’s network itself. Netflix ships these devices to any ISP that requests them who meets certain eligibility criteria, like number of Netflix subscribers in a particular region. Netflix first started rolling out OCAs in India earlier this year.

Jio did not respond to a query by MediaNama. It’s worth noting here that except for ACT Broadband, all Indian ISPs are bound by confidentiality agreements — and so is Netflix — when it comes to peering agreements with the streaming service.

While data from the Netflix OCA in Mumbai was accessible from a Jio connection in Pune, it’s unclear how far geographically Jio’s OCAs reach. The four caches — two in each city — have seemingly been installed very recently, since Jio’s average speed in Netflix ISP Speed Index for July actually fell in comparison to the previous month. (Jio is mis-listed or co-listed with Reliance Communications in Netflix’s ISP Speed Index for India.)

A new peering exchange

Earlier this year, Netflix began peering with the Mumbai Internet Exchange, a large non-profit peering exchange that — unlike NIXI — allows content providers to peer with its partner ISPs. It later also started peering with GPX, a private peering exchange. Now, Netflix has started peering with Extreme IX, a third Internet exchange in Mumbai. Facebook, which also started peering with GPX earlier this year, is also now peering with Extreme IX and the Mumbai Internet Exchange.

Some of Extreme IX’s largest ISP partners, whose customers will now probably get faster Netflix speeds, are Alliance Broadband, Excitel, Spectranet, and several small ISPs. Alliance Broadband and Excitel were earlier flagged by MediaNama as ISPs who have violated Net Neutrality. Both ISPs have since updated their tariff listings, and no longer indicate that the speeds of peered services are offered on a fast lane.

Netflix now has a publicly listed peering capacity within India of 20Gbps, 10Gbps each for Mumbai IX and Extreme IX, according to PeeringDB. Assuming that GPX — whose capacity with Netflix isn’t listed because it’s a private exchange — is also 10Gbps, that comes out to 30Gbps. Netflix’s high-definition bitrates range from 3000Kbps to 7500Kbps; so assuming an average of 5000Kbps (give or take), the streaming service can support up to 6,000 simultaneous streams during peak hours with its India peering infrastructure alone.

However, a significant portion of Netflix traffic in India comes from exchanges abroad, from places like Dubai, Singapore, Amsterdam, and Seattle. This estimate also doesn’t factor in the OCAs, whose capacity is not known.

MediaNama’s coverage of Netflix’s peering

MediaNama has reported exclusively on multiple milestones in Netflix’s rollout of its peering infrastructure in India. Here’s a timeline:

April 4, 2017Netflix deploys caches of its catalogue to Indian Internet providers
April 17, 2017In its filing on Net Neutrality to TRAI, Netflix defends its caches
May 10, 2017Netflix begins directly peering with large Internet exchange in India
May 12, 2017After installing caches, Mumbai’s 7 Star Digital jumps to top spot in Netflix ISP Speed Index
September 4, 2017How Spectranet topped Netflix’s ISP Speed Index in India

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