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The internet has a solid foundation. It is not reliant on a single machine or switch, rather, it is composed of other networked computers. Satellites facilitate connections globally, and between continents. Internet connections are adaptable. When you use your computer to communicate with another device on the internet, the data may travel through one of the millions of paths. When you download a file, it arrives on your computer in digital data packets that travel across the internet. The packets do not all follow the same path because traffic paths are adaptable. If a particular connection becomes broken or unresponsive, the data can take a different path to its destination.
As a result, the internet is a dependable communication resource. Even if an entire segment of the internet goes down due to a catastrophic event, other sections may remain operational. Although data stored on machines damaged by the disaster would be lost, the internet would still be there. It’s hard to imagine a set of feasible circumstances that could bring the internet down. It would require such widespread damage that the shutdown of the internet would probably be the least of our concerns. But what happens if the internet does fail? What impact would that have on us? Would life drastically change, or would we quickly adapt?

How Internet Shutdown Will Affect Communication Systems

A world without the internet is hard to imagine. Depending on the nature of the internet shutdown, basic phone services such as text messaging or cell phone service may become inaccessible. This is because the architecture for these services is also a part of the internet infrastructure and architecture. Even phone lines may cease to function because they too depend on the internet’s facilities. If you had an antenna, you could still receive television programming transmitted by broadcast towers. However, if the satellite and cable systems failed, you would lose access to the majority of channels and TV stations. You would not be able to log into your social media pages, to know what is going on. You won’t be able to instantly check up on your family and friends.

The Impact of Internet Shutdown on Politics

As the internet has become more commonplace and widespread, it has been a means of gathering intelligence by countries, on one another. The global intelligence agencies will be impacted, and the means of sharing information will be difficult. The information being shared may even become obsolete before it reaches the receiver. Some governments might react to a situation in a rash manner, stirring up events that could lead to a conflict.

The Economic Impact of an Internet Shutdown

If for any reason, the internet collapses, the economic consequences will be devastating. Basic services such as digital transactions and payments would be inconvenient, and the overall impact will be much more than that. Consider the businesses that rely on the internet. Every website would be unavailable. Large corporations such as Microsoft and Google would be made useless in an instant. Brands that use only the internet for advertising would be affected. Many businesses would shut down operations if the breakdown was either permanent or prolonged which would cause an increase in the unemployment rate. The e-commerce industry is a very large one and the ripple effect will be felt in other industries too. In this case, developed countries will likely suffer more, due to their huge reliance on the internet’s infrastructure. Very few businesses will be unaffected by an internet shutdown, as the internet has become more pervasive.

Is it possible for the Internet to Collapse?

An internet shutdown is almost impossible. The internet does not have a general switch that can be turned on and off. It is a collection of physical components that are constantly evolving. Parts of the internet can become unavailable, and that happens frequently. It might be a server crashing or a cable under the ocean that gets snagged by an anchor. However, the effects tend to be minimal and localized. The good thing is that the internet is not centralized, so a coordinated attack to shut down the internet will be difficult to pull off.

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