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Top10VPN estimates internet shutdowns in India cost in $2.77 billion

London-based Virtual Private Network (VPN) service Top10VPN has estimated that internet disruptions in India cost $2.77 billion in 2020. The service, in its annual report on the global cost of internet shutdowns, said India shutdown the internet for over 8,900 hours or for 372 days, and these impacted 10.3 million people.  As part of its report, social media shutdowns, internet blackouts, and severe throttling, which including 2G speeds “that renders modern websites and apps functionally unusable” were all considered internet shutdowns by Top10VPN. Its estimates for India accounts for the 2G internet access in Jammu & Kashmir. The union territory has been under an internet blackout since August 2019; mobile internet services were resumed in March, but only at restricted 2G speeds. It was only in August 2020 that 4G was restored in two districts — Udhampur and Ganderbal — on a trial basis. Since report largely focused on large region-wide shutdown, it excludes majority of the “short blackouts” in India which were highly-targeted, affecting groups of villages or individual city district. It’s unclear if hyper-local internet shutdowns, such as the ones that was imposed in New Delhi in February 2020, or those routinely imposed in the districts of Kashmir valley are accounted for. The report said that Internet blackouts included partial blackouts on specific Internet Service Providers. Social media shutdowns were counted when access to "popular social media platforms" such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube was blocked. Top10VPN's split of shutdowns in India is: Internet blackouts: 1,655 hours Bandwidth…

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