2G Mobile Internet, Broadband Services to be Restored in Kashmir From Today; Whitelist Expanded

News18.com

New Delhi: Nearly six months after shutting off the internet for Jammu and Kashmir, the administration on Friday issued orders instructing for restoration of broadband and mobile internet services at 2G speeds starting Saturday.

According to a notification by the home department, internet access shall be limited to whitelisted sites, which has been expanded to 300 from the earlier 153. Restrictions on social media websites that allow “peer to peer communication and Virtual Private Network Application” will continue.

Data services shall be available on post-paid as well as pre-paid sim cards. The restoration of the 2G internet facility on mobile phones will continue till January 31 after which it would be reviewed further, the order said. The weekly review comes after a Supreme Court order on curbs in the Valley.

Internet and mobile connectivity was snapped on August 5 last year after the centre announced abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution applicable to the erstwhile state and also bifurcated it into two union territories -- Ladakh, and Jammu and Kashmir.

The administration had last Saturday restored internet services in certain parts of the Union Territory, but restricted access to 153 “whitelisted” websites. These included websites under the categories of mail, services, education, banking, travel, employment, among others. On Friday, the whitelist was expanded to 300 websites as 53 news portals were among those added.

After the previous government order, 2G internet services on postpaid mobiles was allowed in all 10 districts of Jammu division and in the revenue districts of Kupwara and Bandipora of Kashmir Valley. With Friday’s order, this has been extended throughout the Valley.