Internet shutdowns cost the world at least $2.4 billion last year

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Numbers mean nothing without context. Should we look at that as 30 cents per person?

For example, the United States currently has a Gross Domestic Product of US$18.438 trillion, six percent of which is derived from the internet sector.24 If there were a national internet outage for one week (or 1.9% of the year), that would reduce economic activity by at least US$54.1 billion. And if that outage lasted an entire year, the economic costs would be at least US$2.8 trillion.

I’ll bet the actual impact would be far larger. Much of the economy that isn’t part of the “internet sector” nonetheless depends on the internet in some way directly or indirectly.

In a technologically advanced nation, a centrally routed internet that a government can strategically kill is basically an economy that a government can kill. Hell, rival firms already use cyberwar to interfere with each other tactically. You can be your bottom dollar that governments study those same tactics.


Somebody needs to stop Kanye!


This analysis seems to be “The internet makes this much money in a year, so the percentage of time that it’s offline is the percentage of money that is lost.”

Is it really that simple? It’s not like it’s a restaurant, that if it’s closed one night it can’t make it up the next night.

If you can’t access your online bank at noon, you’ll make the transaction at one. If you can’t send your email right now, you’ll send it a few minutes later. If you get spotty connection to Netflix one day, you don’t get a refund.

I’m sure some revenue is lost to outages, but it seems way too simplistic to assume it’s linear.

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It’s also way too simplistic to assume there’s no second order effects. They pretty much acknowledge the number is wrong, but conservatively wrong, and still provides a useful baseline or minima.

It’s like assuming the world is spherical … you’re wrong, but doing way way waaaaay better than those religious clods who think it’s flat.


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