Of all the lists that India tops, Internet shutdown is one of them. A report titled Global Cost of Internet Shutdowns noted that in 2020, internet shutdowns in India cost the economy $2.8 billion, almost double compared with 2019.
To be precise, India had the highest number of government-imposed internet shutdowns between January 2012 and September 2020, with the government cutting internet access at least 437 times during the period. These numbers make India the Internet shutdown capital of the world.
While the government claims to contain the spread of violence through these Internet shutdowns, they have a huge impact on general public, especially when we need Internet for most of our daily activities.
A Twitter user started a thread listing the resources you can use on low or no internet and how you can stay connected in such a situation.
okay crowdsourcing a thread of resources you can use on low internet/no internet and/or offline ways to stay connected (please add/link resources):— Upasana (@UB395) December 16, 2019
We have compiled some useful points from the thread for the tough times when it becomes difficult for people to stay connected.
1. Keep postcards and letters ready in case you need them. Also note down the addresses of your friends and family in a diary.
You will be able to communicate with family with the help of postal services even when the Internet isn’t available.
2. Recharge your prepaid mobile connections beforehand and check your postpaid services too.
This will prepare you for any untoward incident and curfews when you won’t be able to access any recharge shops.
3. Firechat can be used for messaging each other without the internet.
Firechat can be used for messaging each other without the internet, even if the internet is shut down.— Nikhil Pahwa , https://mstdn.social/@nixxin (@nixxin) December 16, 2019
Works only in proximity, and when I used it, didn’t have private messaging. Was used by protestors in the umbrella protests in HK.
You can download the app here.
4. You can use txti to create webpages that load quickly. This can be used on any device.
you can use txti to create webpages that load quickly and can be used from any device. and many people can collaborate over this.https://t.co/CW0YeOLehu— Upasana (@UB395) December 16, 2019
You can read more about it here.
5. You can set up your own citizen band radio using free radio network software FRN. It allows short distance communication easily.
set up your own citizen band radio using free radio network software:https://t.co/nLkL0neuM7— Upasana (@UB395) December 16, 2019
this permits a land mobile radio system allowing for short distance communication.
Read more about it here.
6. You can set up a MAZI zone for location specific networks using a toolkit.
the MAZI toolkit in order to set up a MAZI zone for location specific networks.— Upasana (@UB395) December 16, 2019
you will need a raspberry pi, micro sd card, usb wireless adapter.
You will need a few tools for this. Read more about it here.
7. You can use Lantern, a P2P network to get people in uncensored areas to share their internet with you.
In case internet shutdown takes place or is going to happen here’s what you can do-— CAA is citizenship on religious grounds (@Kariuppa) December 16, 2019
1. Use VPNs and proxies. Download Tor, Psiphon.
2. Use Lantern, a p2p network to get people in uncensored areas to share their internet with you.
You can read about it here.
8. You can use Rumble, a delay-tolerant micro-blogging application that allows a device to connect, chat and share content (text and images) without the Internet.
Rumble is a delay tolerant communication service.. Must in places like NE and JK, with frequent internet shutdown..— Abhinav Surya (@ltas249) December 16, 2019
Rumble (Off-the-grid micro-blogging application for communities) – https://t.co/2HTSNrMXlo
You can read more about it here.
9. You can also use Twitter and Facebook via SMS.
Read to know more about it here.
10. You can use apps like Manyverse and Briar, social networks off the grid.
Even when you’re offline, you can scroll, read anything, and even write posts and like content on these apps. When Internet is back, it syncs the latest updates.
Read about it here.
11. You can communicate through Bridgify, a Bluetooth based messaging app.
Also Bridgify. It’s a Bluetooth based messaging app. Relies on a BT network mesh to bounce messages through. The larger the number of people who download it, the larger the mesh and the more effective the app.https://t.co/ykSiwIHARN— Gunjan (@buzzbaldin) December 16, 2019
Download the app here.
12. You can also set up a community LTE, but it’s slightly more technical compared to other options.
slightly more technical, this one. also has more hardware requirements. on setting up community LTE (long term evolution, basically wireless broadband for mobiles) or CoLTEhttps://t.co/XDaNEq32RG— Upasana (@UB395) December 16, 2019
Read more about it here.
Some transport utility apps allow you to book cabs offline too. You should sort out a distinctive mode of commute for yourselves. Also, always keep some petty cash with you as online platforms won’t work in such conditions.
13. Keep some cash aside for emergencies.
Cash will be of great help in the absence of the internet connectivity, especially if you carry out most of the transactions online.
14. Keep enough stock of non-perishable food items.
This will reduce your dependency on ordering meals from outside in the worst scenario.
While these methods will help you stay connected, you should not remain secluded during a crisis situation and surround yourselves with people.
Stay safe and connected people.