India lost $3.04 billion (Rs 20,320 crore) due to over 16,000 hours of internet shutdowns between 2012 and 2017, a report by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations has said. The study defined an internet shutdown as an “intentional and complete disruption of fixed-line or mobile internet” ordered by the government.
The report titled The Anatomy of an Internet Blackout: Measuring the Economic Impact of Internet Shutdowns, said that with 54 shutdowns, India topped a list of 30 countries for internet blackouts between January 2016 and September 2017. In 2017, the number of internet shutdowns in India more than doubled from those in 2016. The total number of hours of shutdown increased by 20%, the report said.
“There have been 12,615 hours of mobile internet shutdowns in India costing the economy approximately $2.37 billion (Rs 15,845 crore) during the period 2012 to 2017 and around 3,700 hours of mobile and fixed line internet shutdowns costing the economy approximately $678.4 million (Rs 4,535 crore) during the same period,” the organisation’s report said.
The report added that the states of Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Gujarat, West Bengal and Bihar experienced the most shutdowns between 2012 and 2017.
The Indian Express had reported on Wednesday that a study of 10 countries revealed that internet service providers in India had installed the most internet filtering systems and blocked the highest number of web pages.