Internet shutdowns in Manipur, Punjab cost Indian economy $1.9 bn: Report
Hosted on the Internet Society’s Pulse Platform, the tool measures the economic impact of Internet shutdowns around the world
Recent internet shutdowns in Manipur and Punjab cost the Indian economy an estimated $1.9 billion, a loss of nearly $118 million in foreign investment and nearly 21,268 job losses, a report showed on Thursday.
India's regular use of internet shutdowns as a tool to maintain public order gives India a shutdown risk of 16 per cent so far this year, one of the highest in the world as of 2023, according to the NetLoss calculator, a new tool by non-profit organisation The Internet Society.
Hosted on the Internet Society’s Pulse Platform, the tool measures the economic impact of Internet shutdowns around the world.
Internet shutdowns globally reached a record high in 2022, with governments around the world ordering Internet access and services to be restricted or blocked during civil unrest, school exams, and during elections, which resulted in major economic consequences.
“The global rise in Internet shutdowns shows that governments continue to ignore the negative consequences of undermining the open, accessible, and secure nature of the global Internet,” said Andrew Sullivan, President and CEO of The Internet Society.
According to the report, governments often mistakenly believe that Internet shutdowns will quell unrest, stop the spread of misinformation, or reduce harm from cybersecurity threats.
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However, shutdowns are extremely disruptive to economic activity: they halt e-commerce, generate losses in time-sensitive transactions, increase unemployment, interrupt business-customer communications, and create financial and reputational risks for companies.
“They also hurt a country’s growth as research shows Internet adoption positively impacts Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” the report noted.