After a blockade of around six months, 2G internet services have been restored across all the 20 districts in the Union Territory. This move comes after the Supreme Court asked the government to review the internet ban imposed in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the biggest decision by the government since August 5 last year.
“Access shall be limited only to whitelisted sites and not to any social media applications allowing peer to peer communication and virtual private network applications. Directions shall be effective from January 25 and will remain in force till January 31,” read the official statement.
A few months back in 2019, the government imposed restrictions on mobile internet after the abrogation of Article 370. It is important to note that the services will be restricted to whitelisted sites only. Moreover, the internet speed will be limited to just 2G. Data services are available on post-paid and prepaid mobile connections where the credentials have been identified. However, access will be limited to 301 whitelisted websites.
An order issued on Friday said that access will not be given for any social media applications. The direction will be in force till January 31 unless modified earlier. This was mentioned in an order issued by Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary, Jammu, and Kasmir government.
The communication facilities provided by the government by way of internet kiosks and e-terminals apart from the special arrangements for tourists, students and traders will continue. The Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) shall continue with the process of verification of credentials of prepaid sim holders as per the norms applicable for post-paid connections, the order said.
To recall, on January 14, the government said that 2G mobile internet services will be restored in about 2 out of 10 districts of the Kashmir Valley. These include Bandipur and Kupwara. Additionally, the internet services will be restored in all the 10 districts of the Jammu region for 153 whitelisted websites.
– With inputs from IANS