NetBlocks in partnership with the Internet Society has launched The Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST). This tool will empower the wider community to estimate the economic impact of internet shutdowns, mobile data blackouts and social media restrictions including throttling.

COST performs calculations by country, type of disruption and length of time, combining thousands of development indicators in real time to offer insights into the impact of internet governance and misgovernance on sustainable development, human rights and digital prosperity.

The COST tool is built upon established research papers published by The Brookings Institution for global coverage and a specialised model by CIPESA for sub-Saharan Africa. It also takes into account indirect economic factors and informal economies that play a major role in the region. Economic indicators are integrated from open data sources including the World Bank, ITU and Eurostat.

In its beta version, COST has already been used to support advocacy and policy work in Sri Lanka during protests, which led to an estimated loss of 30,000,000 USD in Iraq, where multi-day outages cost the economy an estimated $40,000,000 USD and in Ethiopia where disruptions cost 3,500,000 Birr.

COST can be accessed online and is designed to support mobile devices and desktop workstations. What’s great is that the tool can also work offline as a progressive web application in case the user has no internet connection.

You can access the tool here.

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