Social Media Ban removed in Kashmir - Broadand and 2G services to resume

Social Media Ban removed in Kashmir - Broadand and 2G services to resume

7 month internet hiatus ends in Kashmir - Social Media on 2G till 17 March
 
Social Media Ban removed in Kashmir - Broadand and 2G services to resume
Internet speed shall be restricted to 2G only
Only on Post paid connections
Internet connectivity will be available on fixed landline

Internet services lockdown in Kashmir has completed 7 months now.  This prolonged ban on internet services in the valley of Kashmir is being lifted with the Jammu and Kashmir administration taking a call to life the ban that was in place since Article 370 was abrogated on August 5, 2019.

The J&K administration, in its fresh order said that the ban will be lifted with immediate effect and people will now be allowed unrestricted access to internet and social media sites, with 2G access.  This order will however, be temporary and will be in place till March 17, as it will be an experimental approach in order to bring normalcy in the Kashmir valley.

A list of websites had been provided that could be accessed in the valley.  These 1600 sites were related to banking, education, business and government.  This restriction has now been lifted.

Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary, (J&K) in his order issued today, said that direct internet access would be available to people across J&K.  This order, however, comes with restrictions.  These as as follows:

  • Internet speed shall be restricted to 2G only
  • Only allowed on mobile numbers with Post paid connections.  Pre Paid connections will be able to use 2G only after verification as applicable for post paid connections.
  • Internet connectivity will be available on fixed landline connections.

In the absence of normal connectivity, many in J&K were using VPN connections to circumvent censorship.  With the lifting of the ban and enabling 2G, it remains to be seen whether social media sites will support 2G connectivity.

The administration, before passing this order was also mulling over whether to allow 4G speeds and restrict it to whitlisted sites only. Or continue with the order of allowing through n through access on 2G speeds.  The second option was taken up and 4G speeds will be considred after this temporary order deems social media access to be satisfactory.

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