Last year’s internet shutdowns cost Tajikistan at 2.1 million U.S. dollars says internet shutdowns that took place in Tajikistan last year have cost the country at 2.1 million U.S. dollars.

In 2022, Internet shutdowns in Tajikistan reportedly lasted 936 hours (39 days) and more than 78,000 residents of the country have suffered from this.

This Global Cost of Internet Shutdowns report calculates the total economic impact of every major deliberate internet outage and social media shutdown around the world in 2022.

This kind of deliberate disruption is internet censorship in its most extreme form. Not only do these internet outages infringe on citizens’ digital rights but they are also acts of economic self-harm.

Government internet outages in 23 countries lasting over 50,000 hours reportedly cost the global economy $23.79 billion in 2022, a 323% increase in impact compared to 2021.

It is to be noted that protests in different parts of Tajikistan have led to internet restrictions.

Thus, internet connections in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast (GBAO) were severed in late November 2021 following the protests that broke out in GBAO’s capital, Khorog, after security forces killed a local man wanted on charges of kidnapping. Protesters demanded a probe into his death.

Service was restored to three districts in GBAO in December, and partially restored to Khorog — although limited to banks and government offices.

Recall, Ilhom Atoyev, the deputy head of the communications service agency, told reporters in Dushanbe on January 31, 2022 that “information has become the main tool in conflicts and confrontations, and information extremism is gaining more and more strength.”

“Information terrorism has an adverse effect on the individual, society and the state. It main goal is to weaken and overthrow the constitutional order. …Therefore, according to the country’s legislation and on the basis of Articles 33 and 34 of Tajikistan’s law on communications, we are obliged to ensure information security of citizens, society and state,” Tajik official added.

The internet was restored in the region in a limited capacity in late March 2022, but as violence broke out in mid-May, the internet was severed again and it was restored in summer last year.

Experts note that Tajikistan still has an expensive and slow Internet connection. According to the rating, the average price per gigabyte of mobile internet is US$2.16. The price for broadband internet access is also high at US$19.76 per month. In this regard, Tajikistan is in the last part of the ranking in the Internet accessibility index.

Source: Asia-Plus