‘Little Too Late’: Kashmiris on 4G Restoration after 18 Months
After 18 months 4G internet services were restored across Jammu and Kashmir, here’s how some Kashmiris responded.
Video Editor: Abhishek Sharma
After 550 days, 4G mobile internet service was restored in Jammu and Kashmir on Friday, 5 February. Here’s how the people of J&K responded to the restoration of high-speed internet in the state after 18 months.
While some found relief, others were irked by the high speed internet coming in so late.
Would have been better if it was done before during the pandemic when the students were demanding for it. Students had online classes to attend, everything was happening online but there was no high-speed internet.Haifa Ahsan, Research Scholar
"4G has finally been restored here, however, it came a little too late," Ahsan added.
"We can say life was tough without 4G high speed internet. But it's true that it had impacted the life of people in business communities and the education sector. Many people got unemployed, those who were dependent on the Internet alone," said Ambareen Nawaz, who is an entrepreneur in Srinagar.
Internet was shut down in the union territories on 5 August 2019, hours before the Centre’s abrogation of Article 370. It was however, restored months later, but with 2G speed.
There had been growing demand from businesses, students and professionals for the restoration of 4G mobile internet services. Poor internet connectivity compounded the problems of people across the UTs, particularly students, as absence of high-speed internet impacted the effectiveness of online classes.
Not just students, life and work across the union territories was affected. Many felt the the loss that took place due to the internet blockage couldn't be captured.
The internet blockage in Kashmir was quickly followed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The whole world was exposed to new platforms of doing business digitally. But we were struggling with the 2G service. So it was hard for us to keep our virtual offices open. Nearly 5 lakh people related to tourism lost jobs. We lost our clients and communication with channel partners.Younis Malik Founder, Al Habib Travels
Another person, Qazi Shibli, owner of The Kashmiriyat didn't think this was a gift or charity to the people of Kashmir. He also mentioned how news reporting for his media organisation got adversely affected by the slow-speed internet services.
As a media organisation it became difficult to carry our work in a normal way. It was tough for field reporters to file reports. Especially while sending across files that were bigger in size. So a lot of times we had to cut short our reports.Qazi Shibli, Owner, The Kashmiriyat
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