"India lost $2.8 billion to internet shutdowns in 2020".
6 Jan, 2021
The Internet shutdowns has cost India $2.8 billion, Placing India the top of a list of 21 countries that curbed citizens’ web access in 2020. As per the report from a U.K.-based digital privacy and security research group which stated that India was the 2nd worst hit nation by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 in terms of overall confirmed infections which was accounted for about 3x of $4 billion lost worldwide to internet curbs. The report has also stated that India has lost double from 2019. As per the report, the world saw 93 major shutdowns during the pandemic-stricken year. Apart from India, the report features Belarus, Myanmar, Yemen, Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Tanzania, Venezuela and Somalia. Countries such as China and North Korea, which are known to restrict access to the Internet, are not in the list prepared by Top10VPN.
The report made a separate mention of the extended curbs on Internet use in Kashmir, with suspension of services lasting from August 2019 — when J&K’s special status was scrapped — to March 2020, and still remaining severely throttled, with only 2G access available. Calling it “the longest Internet shutdown in a democracy”, the report says, “The restrictions have negatively impacted the distribution of medicine, businesses and schools.” According to the latest Telecom Regulatory Authority of India data, as of October 31, there were 11.70 million wireless subscribers in the J&K circle.
While the economic impact due to Internet curbs surged in India in 2020, globally, at $4.01 billion, this came down by 50 per cent from 2019.