Despite Government Order, Internet Services Yet To Resume In Jammu Region
Motorcyclists ride past pedestrians walking in Raghunath Market at night in Jammu, Jammu and Kashmir, India. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)  

Despite Government Order, Internet Services Yet To Resume In Jammu Region

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Mobile internet and broadband services were yet to begin functioning here on Wednesday morning, a day after the administration issued an order allowing their resumption in parts of the Jammu region especially in institutions providing essential services such as hospitals and banks.

Reports from Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi districts maintain that mobile internet services are yet to start as people are unable to see the 'data markers' on their mobile phones.

However, the divisional administration said it has activated internet services but will start them slowly. "It is activated. It will slowly start. The process is on," Divisional Commissioner, Jammu region, Sanjeev Verma told PTI.

Also read: Kashmir Internet Shutdown: Supreme Court Says Freedom Of Speech, Business On Internet A Fundamental Right

After more than five months of internet shutdown in Jammu and Kashmir, the UT administration Tuesday evening restored mobile internet in parts of Jammu region and broadband in institutions such as banks, hotels, travel establishments and hospitals with effect from Jan. 15.

The home department said in a three-page order that 2G mobile connectivity on post-paid mobile phones for accessing white-listed websites including e-banking facilities will be restored in five districts including Jammu, Sambua, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi in Jammu region.

Also read: India Lost at Least $1.3 Billion to Internet Shutdowns Last Year

"The 2G mobile internet service is yet to start. My mobile is not showing the data marker. It is not accessible as yet," Jammu university student Jugal Sharma said. An IT businessman, Arvind Koul, said, "We are unable to get the access and it is not working as yet." He maintained that the decision to resume the internet is good for all as it is being done in a controlled manner without enabling social media to function.

Kuldeep Sharma, a journalist in Kathua district, said the internet service has not started as yet and he is expecting it to start late Wednesday afternoon. Internet service providers will offer broadband facilities (with Mac binding) to all institutions dealing with essential services, such as hospitals, banks and also government offices.

Mac Binding means to enforce a client machine to work from a particular Internet Protocol address. In order to facilitate tourism, broadband internet would be provided to hotels and tour and travel establishments.

Also read: Supreme Court On Internet Shutdowns: A Missed Opportunity

The order also said 2G mobile connectivity on post-paid mobiles for accessing white-listed websites including e-banking will be allowed in districts of Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur, and Reasi -- all in the Jammu region. The order comes days after the Supreme Court had made harsh observations on the JK administration for snapping internet services, access to which the apex court said was a fundamental right of the people.

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