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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Explained: How will restoration of 4G internet services in J&K on trial basis work?

From e-commerce, travel bookings to even filing of GST and income tax returns, resumption of 4G in the valley will be beneficial for citizens wanting do these activities.

Written by Aashish Aryan , Pranav Mukul | New Delhi | Updated: August 12, 2020 7:38:52 am
A Kashmiri man sells snacks and soft drinks at the entrance of his house in Srinagar on August 8, 2020. (AP Photo: Mukhtar Khan)

A special committee set up by the Supreme Court has recommended restoration of 4G internet services in Jammu and Kashmir and access to high speed internet on “trial basis in a calibrated manner in specified limited areas to assess the impact on the security situation” after August 15. However, the Centre and the Union Territory administration told the Supreme Court Tuesday that as security concerns and threat from the region continued to remain high, 4G internet services would not be made available in Jammu or Kashmir as of now.

Why was 4G suspended in Jammu and Kashmir?

On August 5, 2019, when the central government moved to abolish Article 370 which gave special rights to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, internet and voice services were snapped throughout the valley. The government had then said that the same was being done in order to avoid violence.

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How will the lifting of 4G suspension proceed?

According to the recommendations of the high-powered committee, internet could be restored in one district each of Jammu and Kashmir, which are away from the international border or line of control, and has low intensity of terrorist activities. “The authorities presumably want to do a small “test run” in a less conflict-prone area to understand whether 4G services pose any risk,” Com First (India) director and telecom expert Mahesh Uppal said. Telecom operators in the districts which are allowed to have 4G services on a trial basis may also have to submit reports of data usage volume and which apps are being used the most.

What could be the impact of lifting the 4G ban?

Most commercial activities have come to depend on high-speed internet. From e-commerce, travel bookings to even filing of GST and income tax returns, resumption of 4G in the valley will be beneficial for citizens wanting do these activities.

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