As per a UK-based tech research firm, India witnessed 4,196 hours of internet blackouts in 2019, which costed the economy nearly $1.3 billion during the year.
An average of 8.4 million internet users were impacted during multiple incidents, resulting from state-imposed shutdowns across Jammu & Kashmir, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and other regions.
Further, the blackouts resulted in $102 million of economic impact in North-east and $63 million in Uttar Pradesh.
As per the report, besides 122 major shutdowns worldwide, 90 smaller blackouts in India have taken 2019’s tally beyond the previous year’s record total of 196 shutdowns. India noted around 10 per cent increase in disruptions globally from the previous year.
Further, the report added that India was the third worst-hit economy worldwide after Iraq and Sudan. In terms of hours of disruption, Africa’s Chad and Myanmar are the only other countries ranking higher than India with 4,728 and 4,880 hours respectively, but with lesser economic impact.
The study arrived at the economic cost based on Netblocks’ and The Internet Society’s cost of shutdown tool, which relies on data from The World Bank, International Telecommunication Union and Eurostat, among others.