London, January 09 (KMS): Deliberate internet shutdowns cost the global economy more than $8 billion last year, according to a new report.

Research published by an internet research firm, Top10VPN.com, analyzed the economic impact of internet shutdowns around the world throughout 2019. The cost of internet blackouts were calculated on Netblocks’ and the Internet Society’s cost of shutdown tool, which uses indicators from the World Bank, International Telecommunication Union, Eurostat and U.S. Census Bureau.

Top10VPN.com, a London-based website that reviews virtual private network services, traced 18,225 hours of internet shutdowns around the world in 2019, which carried a total economic cost of $8.05 billion.

Those blackouts included a shutdown in occupied Kashmir, which has been continued since August 05, 2019, when the Indian government revoked its special status and divided it into union territories. The report noted that there was no end to restrictions in the territory.

Researchers estimated a total loss of $1.3 billion for India as a result of internet shutdowns, but said they expected the actual figure to be even higher.

Speaking to CNBC via email, Samuel Woodhams, one of the report’s authors, explained that there were several ways in which internet shutdowns led to economic losses.

“From communicating with suppliers to engaging with new and existing customers, internet shutdowns negatively impact almost every aspect of a business’s operations,” he said.

“Internet shutdowns (also) negatively impact businesses located outside the affected country by preventing international companies from interacting with their business partners and potential customers,” he told CNBC.

Despite the negative economic impact, Woodhams did not expect to see a decline in the number of deliberate blackouts this year.


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