Why this Kolaveri Di! Kashmir stuck with 2G but these Srinagar areas enjoy 5G speed

Screenshot of the internet speed on a smartphone of a Jio-Fiber user in Srinagar

Mai ab tang aagaya hun internet use karte karte

Srinagar: Imagine downloading a 1 gigabyte video file in just 10 seconds in Kashmir! One cannot even fathom it leave alone actually being able to do so considering how the valley is without high-speed 4G internet since August last year.

However, what if we tell you that many areas in Srinagar are able to download even bigger files in lesser time, watch YouTube in HD, and seamlessly browse the oceans of world-wide-web using one of the fastest connections in India right now.

Welcome to the world of fiber connectivity, the high-end internet service that over 3,000 Kashmiris have so far subscribed to in at least 13 different uptown and downtown areas of Srinagar.

Majority of the subscriptions, interestingly, have come in the last three months of lockdown, first in the backdrop of the Article 370 abrogation and now because of coronavirus.

 The fiber-to-the-home service by Jio offers internet speeds starting from 100Mbps, going all the way up to 1Gbps, along with a host of other services like free calling, TV, gaming, entertainment, among others. A fiber router installed, the users can connect multiple devices to the network. The monthly plans start from Rs 849 and go up to Rs 8,499.

 “While our basic plan offers 100Mbps speed, the actual speeds vary between 50 and 90 mpbs,” a Reliance Jio official who’s part of the fiber team told The Kashmir Monitor.

As per the official, in Srinagar, Jio-Fiber service, so far, has subscribers in areas including Soura, Buchpora, Lal Bazar, Nowshera, Qamarwari, Bemina, Raj Bagh, Jawaharnagar, Gogji Bagh, Humhama airport road, Baghi Mehtab, Rawalpora, and Sanat Nagar.

“The company is planning to cover all of Srinagar and then move into other districts of the valley. The coronavirus lockdown, however, has halted the progress,” he said.

Nazir Gillo, a teacher and Jio-Fiber subscriber in Soura area, says the highest speed he got was around 70 Mbps.

“It normally ranges between 20 Mbps and 70 Mbps. We are able to connect our devices including smartphones, TV, laptops to it and browse, watch and download from the internet seamlessly,” he said.

While speaking to The Kashmir Monitor, Nazir was browsing at a speed of 45 Mbps on his smartphone compared to around 45 Kbps speed flashing on this reporter’s phone.

“Mai ab tang aagaya hun internet use karte karte (I’m bored of internet now),” he said.

Screenshot of the internet speed on Jio-Fiber user’s smartphone

Getting monthly data of 400 Gbs, Nazir is among the earliest subscribers to the basic 100 Mbps plan, when Jio-Fiber first started operations in Srinagar in early 2019.

Another official at Jio said kin of one of the politicians in Kashmir was the only person here who subscribed to the platinum plan which offers 1Gbps speed.

“He paid an annual subscription of Rs 1.2 lakh in which he gets 10,000 Gbs of data every month at a speed of 1Gbps,” the official said.

Interestingly, while the clamour for 4G restoration grows as Kashmir struggles with coronavirus, the reasons the government gives for suspending the service do not fit in with the high speed of Jio-Fiber, or even with the current 2G internet service on mobile telephony, which practically allows people to browse and share most of the data online.

“If the government claims that suspending 4G is to avoid rumour mongering, isn’t the same possible with the current speed as well?” questioned a Jio mobile user from Pulwama.

As already reported by The Kashmir Monitor, the over 30 lakh mobile subscriber base Reliance Jio has in J&K has paid around Rs 400 crore in bills and recharges without actually getting full services since August 2019.

The J&K administration on April 3 extended the ban on high-speed 4G mobile internet till April 15 citing the new domicile law as one of the reasons, in spite of the rights groups and civil society members demanding its restoration in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak.

There are at least two petitions in Supreme Court right now questioning the ban and seeking restoration of the service.

In one of it, the apex court on Thursday asked the Centre and the Jammu and Kashmir administration to file their responses to the plea.

The petition, filed by the Foundation for Media Professionals, said suspending high-speed internet was violative of a citizen’s right to equality, freedom of speech and right to life, guaranteed in the Constitution.

Another PIL has been moved in by Private Schools Association, Jammu & Kashmir (PSAJK) contending that the lack of 4G connectivity for internet is infringing the fundamental right to education.

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About the Author

A journalist by chance with over five years of experience in reporting, editing, and bucketing local, national and international content for my current organization. I have covered education, health, politics, and human rights. I like working for a daily, though I occasionally try my pen in long-form to connect personal narratives with history.

30 comments

  1. You bastards, people are struggling to meet their daily needs and you are just saying jio fibre providing 5g speed ,who will pay for it your father

  2. What a time to Market Jio Fibre, looks like people of Kashmir have deliberately been put on 2G, which helps Ambanies get easy subscriptions, well i maybe anti this and anti that but I don’t see any other reason for it please help me open my eyes if you think otherwise..

  3. Well , if Modi government is boasting having one of the elite and largest security forces in the world and having seventy years experience of brutal proxy war between Pakistan . They are not able to eliminate what they call enemies to peace or terrorists till now. Pulwama happens and so on. Where on earth suspension of internet is a military tactic (to supress the people more and more )so as to create peace With lakhs of troops in valley how any one could chip away it from India, no dare not.article 370 was a golden bridge not a barrier between kashmir and india. Know what India gained did kashmir became UP or Goa.. No but Kashmir with political history and political problems with end in sight. My friend don’t take it personal… Discussion

  4. Use Idea or Vodaphone you will be surprised in a good way.
    Connect vodaphone sim to a Idea network, boom you get 4-5 MBps. Don’t tell anyone, it’s our little secret.

  5. To take away the 4g internet is to me a human rights violation a huge violation !! If taking away kashmir’s 4g because of so called terrorist or fake news ; well that works both ways . If your going too take away this very human right than it should be all India . Why just in Kashmir ?? Because we’re a Muslim majority population? I don’t see Us beating or attacking any other humans we value human life . I do see that there’s reasons behind this which are bogus we Muslims aren’t spreading hate &blame but I see Hindus doing attacks on my fellow Muslim brothers & sisters .
    IAM American and this shut down of phone service and 4g caused much worry for my family back in United States. JUST RESTORE OUR INTERNET !!!! OR TAKE ALL 4G AWAY FROM ALL OF INDIA .

  6. First of all you miss that area which got this service much before August 2019…’yes it BB Cantt Army and its cicil areas Indra Nagar Sonwar. I am residing here and i installed jiofiber in mid jan 2020, the min speed i got is 100mbs and it touchs 250mbs.. I personally talk to high officials so many times that what is this Funda a person is enjoying 5g speed and other are restricted to 2g.. They were silent and i know reason of their silence.. No it is not Govt.. It is Ambani whom before that cant CHEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWW

  7. What I realise now is that these reliance Jio ppl is stopping govt.to start 4g so that the ppl will subscribe to jio fiber and they get their job done

    Tanvir Ahmad

  8. Who looted kashmir of its its constitution, its status, its democrstic sydtem, its flag. Its huge resources and for what reason. Labelling every kashmiiri enmies of India is a hollow slogan first used by Mr. NEHRU in 1963 and what could then congess Government prove in tje court for long 22 years till 1975 against Sheikh Abdullah. Now the same narative has been use facilitsting to detain people enmass, putting lockdowns and curbs on communication. And what GOI could prove in the Supreme Court is known to all. These and pressurising and time buying tactics for doing whatever you like to acomplish your own agenda by hock or by crock till then keep abusing and shouting against Kashmiris.
    You talk of speed internet, we are paying more and getting low speed one and so you say we have to pay price for using infrsstructure. So we dont hsve no equal rights because being directly merged with Delhi.as Indians. We hsve lost education of our children, our shops, hotels, houseboats, shikaras, factories, banks. Post Offices are closed. We have lost livelohood and yet GOI.has declared to.recruit people from.outside JK When all this has happened under biased agenda to punish us particularly being muslim majority population then we leave it to God to decide who is right and who is wrong.

  9. Everyone wants you to enjoy internet like the rest of India. But when JeM terrorists are celebrated even during lockdown, it gives the ground reality of the radicalization. Your real enemies are among yourselves who are also enemy of India.

  10. Mere pyare Kashmiriyon in Jalsaz aur makaar media k chungal me mt aao. “They are promoting Jio”. If anybody want to use the real freedom internet just opt for Satellite internet. Buy international one as India govt. Ki waat lage gi block krte krte.

  11. 1MB = 8Mb
    Capital B means Byte & small b mean bit.
    8bits = 1 byte
    Hence 100Mbps = 12.5MBps
    & 1Gbps = 128MBps

  12. I am working in delhi due to covid 19 my company provide me remote work at home as i want to come hometown kashmir but due to there is 2g speed i am unable to come because it impacts my work and so many people want to come back kashmir in that cirtical time and spend time with his family and also want to do work at home and run his day to day life and be safe and happy with family, so i only request to govt plz suggest us what we will do , when our political party member and high class beurocrates spend this cirtical time with his family and did his work at home with the help of boardband connections, why not us , so please restore the 4g connectivity in kashmir and so many people can do his work in home and be safe with his family thank you soo much.

    Regards
    Adnan amin
    A youth of new generation.

  13. Access to internet is a basic human right.I am a student and no one can understand what quandary have we been facimg as students since 8months..
    you can’t feel unless you go through it…All this is doing nothing but just putting my future and there are thousands like me and their future at stake…My words will do nothing ..they won’t get 4g restored but at least some people would realize what we are going through…I don’t tjink anyone can act more harsh than this by restricting our access to the 4g internet even in this period of the greatest crisis

  14. The reason the entire Kashmir is stuck in 2 g speed is because even the kashmiris are part of India they have always worked against India for in favour if Pakistan. If a mass hates a country so much why enjoy their infrastructure? This dont come for free. The entire population of Kashmir can enjoy 5g speed when people of Kashmir leave the path of Terrorism and the people who know their friends being one opposes them from being one.

  15. 100 Mbps mean 100 Megabits of internet speed instead of 100 Megabytes. It means we can download 100 MB(Megabytes of file in 8 seconds) which is fast.

    Just wanted to correct you a little for the sake of your readers.

    Thank you

  16. Well, Not everyone spreads “rumors” on whatever things (God knows). If i were told that this situation was going to happen like 1 year earlier. Trust me I’d have left kashmir for good. Not that i hate it, this is my home. I’d die for my home. Sure, you might argue about why i don’t get the broadband and other different features. But let me remind you, not everyone is Capable of buying these facilities. And what will the govt do if everyone was able to obtain these facilities. My best guess is that they’ll ban it too. But that’s not how it works. Right?
    However you might ask, those who cannot afford these facilities might not even need them. Well, maybe not them, but their families, their kids, their needs ( that need to be fulfilled) depend on this main factor. Internet, 90% of the daily life is on the internet. Entertainment, Gaming, Transaction, Shopping, Email, Information, Banking, Even some tests are online let alone education. But our govt doesn’t seem to care about it does it?… The whole covid 19 situation has proved it. During this pandemic, who’d want to go online and spread rumors whilist there are 1000 people dying every day?… Govt extending the ban on 4g is a clear sign of , Fear, corruption and lack of power.

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