Economists predict major fallout from one-day internet blackouts

Economists have predicted a major economic impact from an internet "doomsday" scenario.

Economists have predicted a major economic impact from an internet "doomsday" scenario.

Economists worldwide say that a one-day "blackout" of the internet would have a major impact on the global economy.

The prediction is based on a survey conducted by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and the Ifo Institute for Economic Research, which drew responses from 1,000 economists in 90 countries.

In almost all regions of the world, the economists said businesses would suffer major losses and costly damage which would have huge and lasting effects.

Concerns were especially pronounced in places where internet penetration is highest, including the US and Western Europe.

"Business, governments and people depend on the internet for such a large number of their activities today. We must ensure there are appropriate policy, legal and regulatory frameworks in place to prevent economic loss and disruption of people's lives," said Herbert Heitmann, chair of the ICC's Commission on Electronic Business, IT and Telecoms.

Four undersea communication cables were cut during a one-week period at the end of this January. The cuts caused a breakdown in internet access in much of the Middle East, with India, the US and Europe also experiencing slowdowns.

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