Monday, February 7, 2011

Egypt's Internet Shutdown Cost $110 Million+

We are talking lost wealth here, not out of pocket payments. Mass protest generally cause serious economic disruption. Turning off the internet added to the cost significantly. The important question though is if it is worth it. I would bet most of the protesters would give a resounding yes. My answer would be more outcome determinative. If a real democracy arises then yes, but if there is an fundamental Islamic takeover then no.

"For some reason the OECD calculated based on five days at $18 million dollars per day for a total of $90 million in lost wealth due to the shutdown. This figure represents three to four percent of the country's gross domestic product.
In its coverage, by Parmy Olson, Forbes added that outsourcing revenue of $3 million per day. Further, they calculated "businesses that simply require the Internet to operate, along with Egypt's e-commerce industry" at an additional $1 million per day.

Given that extra $4 million per day for five days, Forbes' calculations add $20 million to Egypt's loss, for a grand total of $110 million.

Although the Internet came back online fairly quickly, it took people time to discover that fact and boot up. Even when the country was wired again, complaints persisted of exceptionally slow connections, possibly on purpose as a kind of stealth block. That, combined with the fact that five down days is a rather conservative number (as I said, it seemed more like six to me), I wouldn't be surprised to find the ultimate figure to be more along the lines of $135 million.

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