By first throttling and then blocking access to social media sites and news outlets, Russia has caused the most expensive internet shutdowns of 2022 to-date. This is according to tech company Top 10 VPN. Internet shutdowns caused an economic cost of $1.21 billion in the country since the invasion of Ukraine. Despite the shutdowns only having gone on for few weeks (543 hours as of March 22), the large number of people affected (113 million) caused the high price tag.
The estimated cost of restricting the internet puts Russia ahead of second-ranked Kazakhstan in 2022 to-date, where the equivalent of $430 million was lost during shutdowns that followed violent protests over fuel prices in the country in January.
Myanmar is the country which shut down the internet for the longest time in 2022 so far: Almost 3,800 hours. The shutdowns are targeted - mostly to the country's Western Chin state at the border with Bangladesh - and were therefore not rated that costly.
Nigeria lifted its Twitter ban at the beginning of the year but it still affected more than 100 million people in January and racked up an economic cost of $83 million. Ethiopia also had long shutdowns of almost 2,000 hours this year. Again, as authorities were targeting the civil war-ridden Tigray region, less people were affected and costs stayed around $30 million.