The Indian government is finally starting to put an end to the internet shutdown across Jammu and Kashmir. J&K government officials issued orders to restore 2G internet access limited to 301 websites in the region over the weekend.
Limited internet connectivity services can be availed on post-paid and pre-paid mobile SIM cards. The limitations are applicable for broadband connections of institutions that got reinstated a couple of weeks back as well.
These 301 whitelisted websites include search engines, education websites, employment websites, entertainment services, email services, news sites, and utilities. The order suggests that the restriction will be effective until January 31.
In the allowed entertainment websites, there are popular video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Hotstar which are highly unlikely to function on 2G data speeds.
As The Wire points out, reputed Indian newspaper websites are allowed along with a few foreign news outlets including The New York Times, BBC, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.
Unfortunately, there are no social media websites or any apps that will allow communication on the list. “Access shall be limited to whitelisted sites and not to any social media applications allowing peer to peer communication and Virtual Private Network Application,” states the order.
With all that said, it is worth acknowledging that this is is a good first step towards revoking the complete internet shutdown, which reportedly resulted in huge business losses apart from the inconveniences caused to the citizens. We hope the government does the needful to offer complete internet services sooner rather than later.