The Jammu & Kashmir administration has issued orders to partially allow 2G connectivity on post-paid mobiles in the union territory beginning January 15, 2019. The services have been restored for accessing white-listed sites in five districts including Jammu, Samba, Kathua, Udhampur and Reasi in the Jammu region.

As per the order issued by the Jammu & Kashmir’s Home Department, internet service providers would provide broadband facility (with mac-binding) to all the institutions dealing with essential services, hospitals, banks, government offices. Mac-binding means enforcing a client machine to work from a particular internet protocol (IP) address.

However, prior to giving such facility, the ISPs have been mandated to install necessary firewalls and carry out white-listing of sites that would enable access to government websites and websites dealing with essential services including e-banking, excluding, however, all the social media sites, the order said. Moreover, the order said that the institutions and government offices being provided internet access will be responsible to prevent any misuse.

The directions would be effective from January 15, 2020 and remain in force for a period of seven days, unless modified earlier. These would supersede all the orders earlier issued on the subject, the order added.

Further, the Kashmir division will establish an additional 400 internet kiosks, the order said.

The order comes after the Supreme Court, on January 10, 2019, directed to review all orders suspending internet services in Jammu & Kashmir and stated that the ‘right to access the internet is a fundamental right under Article 19 of the constitution’.

The central government had suspended internet services in the region following the abrogation of Article 370 of the constitution, which conferred special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu & Kashmir and bifurcated it into two union territories – Ladakh and Jammu & Kashmir.