A total internet shutdown is dangerous to the e-commerce ecosystem.

What is the cost to the Ugandan economy for just an hour of Internet shutdown? In my company, it is proving catastrophic. The government

What is the cost to the Ugandan economy for just an hour of Internet shutdown? In my company, it is proving catastrophic. The government should come in to help us settle the ever-increasing losses, costs, and legal cases because of the Internet shutdown, which caused on-line service outages. Many providers of online services are experiencing penalties for failure to fulfill service level agreements (SLAs). And others have lost business to competitors.

In this virtual working economy, our business models are cooked every time the Internet connection becomes unstable! In case of unstable Internet connectivity, we must restore services within at worst 48 hours! However, the total Internet lockdown left all of us helpless, unaware of the expected time Internet would be restored. We made promises to our partners, only to fail to deliver! It was catastrophic.

We continue to receive several warnings, complaints, and loss of business for failing to deliver our services in line with the signed SLAs. One of the services that were badly hit is our outsourced cyber threat intelligence.

Already, we have lost two of our best customers in one of the neighbouring countries!

I hope there will never be another total Internet lockdown.

A total of lockdown leaves people helpless. In cybersecurity, we consider the three critical elements — confidentiality (keep secrets secret), integrity (no unauthorized modification), and availability (service up-time). Most of the time, availability is a function of Internet availability. A total lockdown renders all the backup options useless. We usually keep Internet connection redundancy lines with another provider. However, the backup too was unavailable!

During the lockdown, only Ugandan businesses experienced the outage. This made the e-commerce entrepreneurs lose some competitiveness as returning customers explored the alternative providers. And for clients under SLA, the impact has been dire.

For the first time, we have applied the “force majeure” clause in vain… the folks who are based in Kenya, Rwanda, etc the explanation that we experienced total Internet shutdown is not understandable especially in this year of our Lord 2021! One of the clients we have lost said, “If the Internet is shut down, tried plan B, your backup connection with another provider. You guys are IT, security experts.  You must have anticipated such scenarios. Activate your business continuity plan, and do your work…”

I tried to explain the meaning of total Internet shutdown in vain… And now we must pay a penalty or go to Court, the Court in their country! It’s a tough time for business. Based on the lost business opportunities, client dissatisfaction, and possible penalties and legal costs arising from disputes related to failure to provide agreed services due to total Internet shutdown, an average e-commerce company must have lost about the US $10,000 during the entire period of the lockdown. Some online companies that provide blogging services recorded the lowest website ranking, indicating loss of traffic to the other global players. Restoring such an on-line reputation and google add revenues will prove a tough exercise. I pray that the government never considers total Internet lockdown again.

Join me as we explore setting a satellite up there in the skies that could offer unlimited, unregulated Internet to billions of people globally and say goodbye to Internet access restrictions.

For God and My Country.

Copyright Mustapha B Mugisa, Mr Strategy 2021. All rights reserved.

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