Better late than never; 4G services restored

Better late than never; 4G services restored I t is fairly well known that on August 4, 2019 , mobile internet services were shut down ahead of the important but sensitive decisions of Central Government in respect of abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A and bifurcation of the state of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories – Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. Thereafter, in the manner of a virtual fits and starts type of policy towards restoration of internet, broadband and quality or standard of internet services resulted in the overall position remaining confined to allowing of 2G services only across the UT. It would have been advisable to suspend such services only in those districts and areas specific in the UT which were found vulnerable in terms of allegedly misusing this facility and posing extra pressure on the law and order maintaining machinery. Even after the intervention of the Supreme Court, though expectations were for early restoration of pre August 5 2019 position of 4G internet facilities, the same could not be possible may be due to cogent administrative constraints, barring in two districts Ganderbal in Kashmir and Udhampur in Jammu respectively which happened later on August 16, 2020. In other words, as many as 18 districts of the UT remained bereft of the facilities of fourth generation technology of 4G internet facilities all these 18 long months. In this fast digital and information technology era where hardly any activity right from a retail vendor to big business houses, trade and e-commerce, institutions, hospitals, utility oriented services, schools and higher education institutions and the like are dependent on and want access to fastest mode of communication not only across the country but abroad too, absence of 4G Internet was least expected. When 2G internet services were the only type of facility provided by service providers, even then expectations for better and quick mode of facility continued to be nursed by all especially in the backdrop of latest innovations and improvements made in some advanced countries and once we also in the country had such services, and consequently in Jammu and Kashmir also, not only did it result in the tremendous increase in traffic from all hues but people got accustomed to it while as human tendencies are like, still aspiring for 5G and more revised versions. s. On the contrary, denial of already available 4G services and continuously for more than 18 months created problems of the sorts resulting even in resentment in the people of the UT. It is, however, a matter of satisfaction that based on the recommendations of sixth meeting of the Special Committee constituted on the orders of the Supreme Court held on February 5, 4G internet services stand now restored across Jammu and Kashmir bringing respite from the difficulties by and consequently cheer to one and all. Better late than never, it is the nature of every hardship or difficulty that at its being off and over, the levels of sufferings are tended to be forgotten or overawed by the pleasure from riddance thereof. Why not, looking to the advantages of the high speed 4G internet especially in context of benefits reaped by mobile, smart-phones, laptop users etc getting quick, uninterrupted connectivity, it was expected to be restored as early as possible. Since after getting used to it, withdrawing the facility to settle at an old rather outdated version, though for a short period, where speed etc on comparative basis is slow, hence a feeling of being deprived of a due facility for which even in its absence or non availability, service providers were not offering any monetary concession. A sort of growing mild wave of indignation was there which was however more manifest during the period of lockdown on account of precautionary measures against Corona virus pandemic when students attending online classes experienced frequent disruptions and even poor connectivity due to slow speed of the 2G internet and also thousands of those who “worked” from the confines of their homes. We, however, cannot dispute the receipt of various inputs and feeling of apprehensions of many hues by the security apparatus of the UT due to which such short term restrictions are imposed, the basic intentions being ensuring that no breach of law and order took place as also taking care of security and safety of the citizens. Since such type of decisions were being repeatedly reviewed by the Government, it is but likely that after feeling satisfied about the security scenario, restoring the 4G internet became possible. Nevertheless, pre-paid SIM card holders are to be provided access to the internet connectivity only after proper verification in the same way as are applicable to post-paid connections. It is likely and on expected lines that people including political leaders, traders, students and those associated with tourism related activities, across the UT hailing the decision and wishing what if the same could have been restored much earlier but still let bygones be bygones, the general feelings on restoration of the high speed 4G internet are those of much re of course, with the hope that let there be more refined and better versions available in the near future but never suspension of the restored services again. Well, for that, it is also imperative that the facility is not misused by anyone in anyway whatsoever.