Voice Call, SMS, 2G Mobile Internet Services Restored In Parts Of J&K; Social Media Ban Remains

Jammu: Nearly after five months of communication blockade, broadband and mobile internet services have been restored in various parts of Jammu and Kashmir from Saturday, government spokesman Rohit Kansal said at a press conference. The administration has also informed that 2G mobile internet services have been restored on post-paid mobile phones for accessing only white-listed sites all ten districts of Jammu and two districts of Kashmir- Kupwara and Bandipora.

Internet was suspended all across Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on August 5. The broadband services were, however, restored later in Jammu region. Also, mobile and broadband services were restored in the Ladakh region but in Kashmir, all forms of Internet continued to remain suspended.

The government had earlier restored Internet services in hospitals and government offices in the valley. Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary Kansal said the decision was taken after careful review. The ban on social media will continue in these districts. Meanwhile broadband internet is available across banks in Jammu and Kashmir.

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However, reports also suggest that mobile internet services will remain suspended in around 10 districts of the valley including Budgam, Ganderbal, Baramulla, Srinagar, Kulgam, Anantnag, Shopian, Pulwama and others.

As per the orders, voice call and SMS services shall only be restored on all pre-paid sim cards across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) shall initiate the process for verification of credentials of subscribers for internet connectivity.

Kansal said the order will come into effect from Saturday (January 18). Apart from that, internet service providers have been asked to provide fixed-line internet connectivity in all the 10 districts of Jammu region and two districts, Kupwara and Bandipora, in North Kashmir.

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Telecom services were shut in the entire Jammu and Kashmir on August 5 when the Centre abrogated special status to the erstwhile state and also bifurcated it into two Union Territories.

However, the Supreme Court came down heavily on the UT administration last week for arbitrarily shutting down the Internet, the facility described as the fundamental right by the apex court.

(With inputs from agencies)

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