Jammu and Kashmir Principal Secretary, Power and Information, Rohit Kansal on Friday announced that 4G mobile internet services will be restored in the entire Union Territory, 18 months after it was first cut when the Centre revoked the region’s special status. However, it is unclear when the high speed internet services would be available.
“4G mobile internet services being restored in entire J&K,” Kansal tweeted.
After the announcement, Peoples Democratic Party leader Omar Abdullah tweeted: “4G Mubarak! For the first time since Aug 2019 all of J&K will have 4G mobile data. Better late than never.”
On January 22, the Jammu and Kashmir administration had extended the suspension of high-speed internet till February 6, saying the services will continue to be restricted to 2G. The ban was extended to all districts, except Ganderbal and Udhampur districts.
Prior to that, the administration had on January 8 extended the ban till January 22. The government has maintained that these security measures such as the internet ban were necessary to better integrate the region with India, foster greater economic development and stop threats from “anti-national elements” and Pakistan.
Internet services were cut off in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5, 2019, hours before the Centre revoked Article 370 of the Constitution and split the state into Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The low-speed or 2G internet service on mobile phones was restored on January 25, 2020, although outages continue to be imposed intermittently amid a complete ban on 4G network.
On August 16 last year, the government restarted high-speed mobile data service in Ganderbal and Udhampur districts on a “trial basis”, as part of a “calibrated easing of restrictions”. On September 9, the Centre refused to extend high speed mobile internet outside the two districts, citing inputs about “terror modules” trying to lure youth into terrorist organisations.