The Jammu and Kashmir administration on February 5 restored high-speed mobile Internet, first time since August 5, 2019, when the Centre ended the special status of the erstwhile State.
“Keeping in view the advice of a special committee and upon careful review of the overall security situation, the Home department hereby revokes the restrictions on mobile data services and fixed line Internet. Prepaid SIM card holders will also be provided services only after the verification as per the norms applicable,” said Shaleen Kabra, Principal Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir Home department.
The high-speed mobile Internet remained suspended for 18 months. It was also a long pending demand of the regional political parties to restore the service, which impacted students and businesses the most.
The government, in the past, argued that snapping the high-speed mobile Internet was “to keep handlers across the border away from inciting violence on the borders as well as hinterland.”
Earlier, the high-speed mobile data services were restored in twin districts of Ganderbal and Udhampur on a trial basis on August 16, 2020. The Jammu and Kashmir government on January 22, 2021 extended a ban on high speed mobile data services across the Union Territory.
The netizens have welcomed the move. “Public of J&K has been without high speed Internet for the last two years. After hearing the news that 4g Internet will be restored within days everyone is celebrating,” wrote Guftar Ahmed on Twitter.
Former Chief Minister and National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah also tweeted to welcome the restoration. “4G Mubarak! For the first time since Aug 2019 all of J&K will have 4G mobile data. Better late than never,” Mr. Abdullah said.
Welcoming the decision, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries president Sheikh Ashiq said it had come as a relief for traders. “Traders suffered the most due to the suspension of the services and now they would heave a sigh of relief,” Mr. Ashiq said.