The Anatomy of an Internet Blackout

Uploaded: over 1 year ago; Last updated: over 1 year ago ; Date of Publication: April-2018

All India

2012 - 2017


Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

With the government ordering frequent internet shutdowns, approximately $3.04 billion has been lost due to interrupted economic activity as India faced around 16,315 hours of internet shutdown during 2012-2017.


Research Report

We employ standard procedures such as the instrumental variable method to estimate elasticities for mobile Internet and total Internet use. The measured elasticities are used to compute the economic impact of each shutdown reported in India between 2012 and 2017. Each instance of shutdown is tabulated with details on regions impacted, duration and network disrupted (mobile / mobile and fixed line). We take advantage of India’s diversity and the availability of state level data to investigate economic impacts within India – between states for mobile only and mobile plus fixed line shutdowns.