Home » A 24-hour internet outage would cost the UK economy over £1.6bn

A 24-hour internet outage would cost the UK economy over £1.6bn

by Tech Reporter
3rd Jun 21 3:22 pm

Merchant Machine has taken an in-depth look into how much money different countries around the world would lose if there was no connection and the amount online companies could lose every hour the internet is out.

Every second over 40,000 search queries are made on Google worldwide. That comes out to 3.5 billion searches a day or a whopping 1.2 trillion searches per year! But what would happen if the internet went down?

When our key social apps go down, like Facebook or Twitter, the frustration is felt worldwide. Many of us would be lost in the face of a worldwide internet outage and the monetary loss for many could be huge!

But where in the world would an internet blackout have the biggest economic impact?

Interested to find out, Merchant Machine has taken an in-depth look at the potential financial loss of an internet blackout around the world to find the nation that will suffer the biggest hit to their economy.

Our research found that just one hour without the internet would have a detrimental effect. 60 minutes without connection to cyberspace would result in the world’s economy suffering a £1.5 billion loss. This figure increases to £15 billion after 10-hours and to £37 billion after 24-hours.

The 10 countries facing the biggest financial loss due to an internet outage:

Country Number of internet users 1-hour without the internet 10-hours without the internet 24-hours without the internet
United States 312,320,000 £221,634,604 £2,216,346,037 £5,319,230,490
China 904,080,566 £178,731,616 £1,787,316,155 £4,289,558,772
United Kingdom 65,001,016 £68,830,150 £688,301,500 £1,651,923,600
Japan 116,505,120 £57,751,064 £577,510,633 £1,386,025,517
Spain 42,400,756 £46,964,862 £469,648,617 £1,127,156,680
Netherlands 15,877,494 £32,596,505 £325,965,050 £782,316,121
Germany 77,794,405 £31,135,651 £311,356,513 £747,255,631
India 755,820,000 £30,788,929 £307,889,286 £738,934,286
Switzerlands 7,942,864 £26,932,957 £269,329,564 £646,390,954
South Korea 49,421,084 £25,920,716 £259,207,156 £622,097,175

With over 310 million internet users, the United States comes in first place as the country at risk of facing the biggest financial loss due to an internet shutdown. Home to Silicon Valley, which is where many start-ups and global technology companies reside, a 24-hour shutdown would cost America over £5 billion.

In second place is China with a £4 billion loss for a 24-hour internet outage and the United Kingdom rounds up the top three with a £1.6 billion loss for every day without the internet.

At the other end of the scale, we have Tuvalu. Located between Hawaii and Australia, Tuvalu has only 5,520 people online and their economy would only suffer an £18,000 loss for a whole day without the internet.

Amazon would lose £32 million an hour during an internet outage

Countries’ economies are not the only ones that would be affected by an internet shutdown. We have taken a look at some of the biggest online companies in the world to reveal who would suffer the biggest financial loss in the face of an internet blackout – and how much they could expect to lose.

Available in 16 countries and selling more than 12 million different products, it’s no surprise that the world’s largest online marketplace platform Amazon has come out on top as the company that would lose the biggest revenue during an internet outage. We estimate that, if the internet was shut down around the world for just 24 hours, this would cost Amazon a tremendous £772 million – around £32 million per hour and just over half-million dollars per minute (£536,111).

Company Revenue (year) Revenue loss per day Revenue loss per an hour Revenue loss per a minute
Amazon £281,780,000,000 £772,000,000 £32,166,667 £536,111
Alphabet £133,225,000,000 £365,000,000 £15,208,333 £253,472
JD.com £83,439,000,000 £228,600,000 £9,525,000 £158,750
Facebook £62,750,800,000 £171,920,000 £7,163,333 £119,389
Alibaba £40,990,960,000 £112,304,000 £4,679,333 £77,989

A 24-hour worldwide internet shutdown would cost Instagram close to a billion pounds

Created in 2010, the world-renowned app Instagram has over one billion users actively sharing and liking content. When the app is down for even a second, the impact is experienced worldwide. For every second the app is down, the financial loss that is felt is tremendous – one hour without connection would result in a £39 million loss. And a 24-hour internet outage would add up to £942 million.

Ian Wright, founder of Merchant Machine said, “Our dependence on the internet increases every day – without a connection to the web many individuals such as business and government bodies would be unable to carry out their daily activities.

This study highlights the huge impact an internet outage would have on the economy of many of the world’s leading nations and businesses.

As we continue to make new ventures on the web, it’s important for us to understand and realise the magnitude effect the internet plays into the world’s economy and the domino effect that would be felt without it.”

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