‹ Back
Growing the Internet 6 June 2019

Turn the Internet Back On in Sudan, and Keep It On

The Internet Society is deeply concerned that the military transitional council of Sudan ordered the shutdown of mobile access to the Internet on 3 June 2019. According to Netblocks, Sudan’s two major mobile service providers, MTN and Mobitel (ZAIN), have blocked Internet services. In a country where the majority of users access the Internet via mobile devices, this move restricts Sudanese citizens from accessing Internet services.

We call on the military transitional council of Sudan to restore full access to the Internet and to #KeepItOn.

This partial Internet shutdown comes at a particularly critical moment for Sudan’s economic future. The monthly cost of fixed-line Internet can reach nearly half the average monthly income in Sudan[1]. This means many businesses depend on mobile access to reach customers, interact with suppliers, and run their business. Reliable connectivity is essential to many business operations. Blocking this access has an immediate financial impact on the Sudanese economy. It is likely to hit small and micro enterprises hardest. 

Last year, the Sudanese government reiterated its commitment to end cash government payments, aiming to make all government services payments electronic by early 2019. It also emphasized the importance of ensuring the widespread use of mobile payments in the country. Shutting off mobile access works against those objectives. Even worse, it prevents citizens from accessing those services.

Shutdowns also erode the trust people have that Internet infrastructure will work reliably. Over time, people simply stop using unreliable networks. This contributes to a cycle of reduced investment and further infrastructure decline. Internet shutdowns send a signal to investors that a Sudan’s Internet infrastructure is not resilient or reliable and the country has the capacity and the willingness to shut it down when it wants to. 

The Internet Society urges the military transitional council of Sudan to reverse its order and turn the Internet back on.


Update – 6 June 2019 – Netblocks is now reporting further restrictions across even more Internet providers within Sudan.

[1] Source – Freedom on the Net 2018 report ( citing “Numbeo as of September 2018. Average monthly salary is 3,333 SDG, compared to 1,250 SDG for monthly internet.

‹ Back

Related resources

Joint Statement: Let’s #SwitchItOn and #KeepitOn!
Community Networks16 May 2018

Joint Statement: Let’s #SwitchItOn and #KeepitOn!

The Internet is changing our world. It can empower us. It can connect us and facilitate information exchange across borders. It...

Internet Shutdowns and Content Blocking not the answer, says Internet Society
Domain Name System (DNS)29 March 2017

Internet Shutdowns and Content Blocking not the answer, says Internet Society

The Internet Society today voiced its commitment to keeping the Internet on for everyone, in response to the increasing number of government orders to temporarily shut down or restrict access to Internet services. 

Internet Society Statement on the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Summit
Development25 September 2015

Internet Society Statement on the 2015 UN Sustainable Development Summit

This week, the United Nations is hosting the Sustainable Development Summit (SDS) where the international community will embrace a global agenda to alleviate poverty, expand health and education, and preserve our planet for future generations. 

Join the conversation with Internet Society members around the world