J&K government is restoring 4G internet services across the valley. The announcement was made by J&K Principal Secretary (Power & Information). The restoration of high-speed mobile internet services comes after one and a half year. The internet services were restricted to 2G only in the region on August 5, 2019.
This will be the first time when the Valley will effectively avail high-speed internet that was suspended after restrictions were clamped in the Valley following the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of the erstwhile state into two union territories on August 5, 2019.
The restoration of 4G services follows the recommendation of a panel constituted by the Supreme Court of India to review the restrictions vis-à-vis the security situation in the Union Territory, reports have said.
On May 11, last year, a three-judge bench headed by Justice NV Ramana had set up a special committee led by Union Home Secretary to take a call on the issue after conducting a wide-ranging assessment of the security situation in the sensitive region. Besides, the Union Home Secretary, DoT Secretary and Chief Secretary of J-K are also part of the panel.
Full order copy
Whereas, restrictions on access to high speed mobile internet have been imposed in the UT of J&K, with periodic assessment of the ground situation and inputs from the law enforcement agencies, and at present, the position regarding availability of internet services is as follows:
Mobile data Services:
The internet speed is available at 2G, except in the districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur, where mobile internet connectivity has been made available without any speed related restrictions.
The post-paid SIM card holders have been given access to the internet, whereas, the availability of these services is provided to the pre-paid SIM card holders, only after verification as per the norms applicable for post-paid connections.
Fixed line Internet connectivity:
Internet connectivity is available with Mac-binding; and
Whereas, to make an objective assessment of the prevailing circumstances and necessity of continuation of these restrictions, the Special Committee, constituted under the orders of the Hon'ble Supreme Court in its order dated 11.05.2020 titled "Foundation for Media Professionals Vs. UT of J&K and others", held its 6u, meeting on 04.02.2021, in which, among other things, it took note of the inputs and apprehensions of the security agencies and police forces as also the assessment of opening of high speed mobile internet connectivity in the districts ofUdhampur and Ganderbal.
Now, therefore, keeping in view the advice of the Special Committee and upon careful review of the overall security scenario, 1, Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department [Competent Authority under sub-rule (I) of Rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017], hereby revoke the restrictions on mobile data services and fixed line internet connectivity placed vide Government order No. Home-02 (TSTS) of 2021 dated 22.01.2021, except to the extent that the pre-paid SIM card holders shall be provided access to the internet connectivity only after verification as per the norms applicable for post-paid connections.
The IsGP, Kashmir/Jammu, who are the Authorized Officers in their respective areas of jurisdiction, shall ensure compliance of this order by the service providers forthwith. They shall also closely monitor the impact of lifting of restrictions.
Internet suspension in Haryana districts
While J&K has finally restored high-speed mobile internet in the region, the Haryana government announced the suspension of mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA/GPRS), Bulk SMS services and all dongle services provided on mobile networks except the voice calls extended in the territorial jurisdiction of two districts-Sonipat and Jhajjar till 5 pm tomorrow.