In a massive development, stater-run internet provider BSNL on Thursday has restored internet services throughout the Kashmir valley after a seven-month ban since the revocation of Article 370 from Jammu-Kashmir. Previously, the administration had restored internet services to government offices only. BSNL has announced it will not charge consumers for the suspended period.
Broadband services have been restored in Kashmir valley. Earlier this facility had only been restored for Government offices and other essential services in the valley. pic.twitter.com/YmHjuElzbA— ANI (@ANI) March 5, 2020
Earlier on Wednesday, the J&K administration temporarily revoked a ban on social media sites. The restoration of the internet will remain in effect till March 17, a government order said. Internet access over mobile devices, however, will remain restricted to slow speed.
On January 26, the administration restored 2G internet services in the Valley after the Supreme Court's order to review all curbs while terming internet as a 'fundamental right'. The J&K administration are currently reviewing the internet ban on a regular basis after the SC ordered to do so. Since PM Modi came into power in 2014, the internet has been suspended more than 365 times in India, according to the global digital rights group Access Now.
The J&K administration has agreed to set up 400 internet kiosks and have restored 2G internet connection in Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi. On the other hand, mobile internet was restored in Kargil district in the Union Territory of Ladakh in the last week of December. The Centre has also revoked a large number of troops from the Valley in a bid to restore normalcy in Jammu-Kashmir while slapping PSA on senior mainstream politicians NC patron Farooq Abdullah, former CMs - Mehbooa Mufti, Omar Abdullah, and Shah Faesal - extending their detention. Panchayat polls too were postponed after security concerns.