NetBlocks Launches Tool to Measure Cost of Internet Shutdowns


nw8v9uU2NetBlocks, in partnership with the Internet Society, has launched a new tool that can be used to measure the economic cost of internet disruptions and to support the adoption of rights-based internet governance around the world.

The new tool called ‘Cost of Shutdown’(Cost) seeks to support internet freedom and empower KeepItOn members and the wider community to estimate the economic impact of internet shutdowns, mobile data blackouts and social media restrictions including throttling.

COST performs calculations by country, type of disruption and length of time, combining thousands of development indicators in real time to offer insights into the impact of internet governance and misgovernance on sustainable development, human rights and digital prosperity.

The COST tool is built upon established research papers published by the Brookings Institution for global coverage and a specialised model by CIPESA for sub-Saharan Africa, taking into account indirect economic factors and informal economies that play a major role in the region. Economic indicators are integrated from open data sources including the World Bank, ITU and Eurostat.

COST can be accessed online and is designed to support mobile devices and desktop workstations. What’s great is that the tool can also work offline as a progressive web application in case the user has no internet connection.

COST has already been used to support advocacy and policy work in Sri Lanka during protests, which led to an estimated loss of $30,000,000 USD, in Iraq, where multi-day outages cost the economy an estimated $40,000,000 USD and in Ethiopia where disruptions cost 3,500,000 birr, a key figure that was cited in letters addressed to state officials.
Click to use the app.