Restored prepaid mobile phone services at J&K

SRINAGAR: The J&K government restored Saturday prepaid mobile phone services across the country and allowed 2G Internet on mobile phones in two districts of the Valley: Kupwara and Bandipora. The government had restored postpaid mobile phone services throughout the Valley in October, but continued with the internet ban.

All prepaid mobile phone services have been restored throughout JT's UT, while 2G Internet will be available on mobile phones in two districts of the Kashmir valley - Kupwara and Bandipora - effective as of January 18, the spokesman said of government and chief secretary (planning) Rohit Kansal said in Jammu on Saturday.

Voice and SMS facilities have been restored for all prepaid mobile phones in J&K, he said, adding that to consider giving mobile Internet connectivity on those SIM cards, the telecommunications service would have to verify subscriber credentials.

Internet service providers have been asked to provide direct Internet connectivity (landline) in the 10 districts of the Jammu region and the two districts of Kupwara and Bandipora, he added.

On Wednesday (January 15), the UT administration had announced the creation of 400 internet kiosks to provide broadband facilities to essential service providers throughout the Valley, while allowing 2G Internet access on mobile phones from postpaid in five districts of Jammu to access sites on the white list. This facility was extended to the remaining five districts of the Jammu region on Saturday.

Regarding the details of the sites on the white list, Kansal said the competent authority has already published a list of 153 of these websites.

The ban on all types of Internet in J&K was imposed, except for the Jammu region, where broadband facilities were not affected, after the cancellation of Articles 370 and 35A on August 5 of last year.

Even landlines were disconnected for almost a month after August 5.