OECD: Egypt’s Shutdown Of Net Was Costly

This is what I just saw at TechDailyDose:

Preliminary figures released Thursday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showed that Egypt’s decision to block Internet services for five days cost the country an estimated $90 million. The OECD said the blocked telecommunications and Internet services accounted for about 3 percent to 4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, which accounted for about $18 million a day.

What’s interesting about this is:

that figure is terrifyingly low. Can it really be that cutting a whole nation off from electronic communications networks only affects the companies so marginally? I think this calls for a decent modelling approach by serious economists and business people. They together should not just calculate the sales lost in e-commerce and other direct transactions (it is possible that this is how the figures came about). A typical company of medium size depends in many respects on IP traffic of all sorts: you cannot control your work stream, you do not have access to many of your data (because some may be stored in cloud services, others just in off-site data centers), you cannot make an offer to a customer because you do not have a website where to check the current exchange rate or your banking swift code, many people probably could not even make a phone call, as so many voice services also require the use of the very IP networks that have been kill-switched (or whatever the special term for network lunacy is). I can only personally judge from what happened when the sea quake ripped the undersea cable off Taiwan to shreds: mainland China and Hongkong was playing Sudoku (the newspaper version, apparently, not the online version) for weeks around Christmas 2006 (or was it 2005?).

If cutting off a country from the communications networks comes so cheap, I suggest to do it once a week, because it’s really good for family life!

OECD: Egypt’s Shutdown Of Net Was Costly – Tech Daily Dose.


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