Internet shutdown economic costs 2019, by country

Worldwide, there were over 18,000 hours of internet shutdowns in 2019, costing the global economy over eight billion U.S. dollars. According to recent data, Iraq was the country that was most affected by internet blackouts and social media shutdowns - online users in the country endured a total of 263 hours of shutdowns, which affected 18.8 million users and had an economic impact of approximately 2.32 billion U.S. dollars. In comparison, internet shutdowns in India occurred around 4,196 times and cost the local economy 1.33 billion U.S. dollars. Online shutdowns and blackouts are generally seen as an indicator of low internet freedom.

Number of affected users and economic cost of internet shutdowns in selected countries in 2019

Shutdown duration (in hrs)Shutdown total cost (in million USD)Affected internet users (in millions)
Iraq 2632,319.518.8
Sudan 1,5601,866.312.5
India – specific regions [1]4,1961,329.88.4
Venezuela 1711,072.620.7
Iran 240611.749
Algeria 50199.819.7
Indonesia [2] 416187.729.4
Chad [3] 4,728125.91
Sri Lanka 33783.97.1
Myanmar – Rakhine, Chin 4,88075.20.1
Democratic Republic of Congo45661.27
Ethiopia 34656.819.5
Zimbabwe 14434.54.5
Mauritania 26413.80.9
Pakistan – Azad Kashmir [4]885.6-
Egypt 243.843.9
Kazakhstan 7.52.613.9
Bénin 211.11.6
Gabon 291.11
Eritrea 2400.40.1
Liberia 120.10.37
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Source

Release date

January 2020

Region

Worldwide

Survey time period

2019

Supplementary notes

Calculations include social media shutdowns and internet blackouts. These types of internet disruption are defined as follows:
Internet blackouts: where access to the internet is completely cut off. This extreme measure cannot be directly circumvented.
Social media shutdowns: where access to popular social media platforms, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter or YouTube have been blocked. These can typically be circumvented by using a VPN.


[1] Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh only.
[2] 338 hours of specified duration applied to Papua region only.
[3] Duration/total cost figures refer to 2019 impact only and do not take into consideration preceding months of restrictions over 2018.
[4] No data available regarding the number of affected internet users.

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