Barring Two Districts, 4G Internet Ban Extended In J&K Till December 25

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SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Wednesday extended the 4G mobile internet ban till December 25 in all districts, except in Ganderbal and Udhampur.

Internet services were cut off in Jammu and Kashmir last year on August 5, hours before the Centre revoked Article 370 of the Constitution and split the state into two Union Territories. The low-speed or 2G internet service on mobile phones was restored on January 25, although outages continue to be imposed intermittently amid a complete ban on 4G network. On August 16, the government restarted high-speed mobile data service in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts on a “trial basis”, as part of “calibrated easing of restrictions”.

According to Government Order No: Home-134  (TSTS) of 2020, Whereas, the following restrictions on access to the internet are in force, across the UT of J&K tilt today December 11, 2020.

“The internet speed is restricted to 2G only, except in the districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur where there are no speed-related restrictions on the use of the internet.

“While the postpaid sim cardholder can access the internet, the availability of these services is restricted on pre-paid sim cards, unless verified as per the norms applicable for postpaid connections.

“Internet connectivity without aa speed-related restrictions is available on fixed-line with Mac-binding.”

“Whereas, during this period, the mobile internet services had to be suspended, although for limited periods of time and in specific areas, due to likelihood of misuse of the data services by the anti-national elements to disrupt the democratic process by creating a scare among the voters, carrying out attacks on forces, targeting of contesting candidates and the workers.”

“In view of the credible inputs and as a mailer of abundant camion, the access to the internet had to be restricted on the day of poll in the areas going for polling,” it said.

“Whereas, there have been continuous attempts to radicalize the youth through multiple methods, most importantly through videos using social media, which rely on high-speed internet for easy dissemination of such material,” it added.

“Now, therefore, on consideration of the overall security situation prevailing in the UT of J&K and the necessity of continuing with the speed-related restrictions on mobile data services to prevent its misuse and upon assessment of the available alternatives,” it further added.

“Principal Secretary to the Government, Home Department, being satisfied that, it is absolutely necessary so to do in the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the State and for maintaining public order, in the exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885 and sub-rule (I) of rule 2 of the Temporary Suspension of Telecom Services (Public Emergency or Public Safety) Rules, 2017, hereby order that the directions as at para ] above shall continue and remain in force till December 25, 2020,” it said.

“The IsGP, Kashmir/Jammu shall communicate these directions to the service providers forthwith and ensure their implementation in letter and spirit,” reads the order.

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