NEW DELHI: A special committee looking into the issue of restoring internet in Jammu and Kashmir has decided to provide 4G services on trial basis in limited areas of the Union Territory after August 15, the Centre informed the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana was informed by Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, that the committee has decided to hold trials for high speed internet access in one district each in Jammu and Kashmir division.
The Committee has decided that access to 4G internet in J-K be given in a calibrated manner and outcome of the trial will be reviewed after two months, he said, adding that it considered multiple options while keeping in mind the security situation as the threat perception remained high.
The bench also comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and B R Gavai said this is a fairly good stand on the part of the respondents — the Centre and the J-K administration.
It said that since both the administrations are saying they will review it later then why the matter be kept pending.
Venugopal further said that there was no case of contempt made out as the orders of the court were being complied with.
Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for petitioner NGO Foundation for Media Professionals’, said this was a step forward but still some concern remains.
He raised the issue of publication and bringing in public domain the special committee’s orders as also its periodic reviews.
Ahmadi said he was not pressing for contempt in view of the Attorney General’s submissions.
The bench was hearing the contempt plea filed by the NGO seeking action against authorities for not complying with the apex court’s direction on restoration of 4G internet services.
High speed internet services in J-K were suspended in August last year when the Centre announced revocation of its special status and bifurcation of the state into two UTs — Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
At the outset, Venugopal said the Centre has filed an additional affidavit on the issue, and that the special committee had held its meeting on August 10.
“The committee was of the view that threat perception continues to be high,” Venugopal said, adding that restrictions on high speed internet are not posing any hindrance in the COVID-19 pandemic management and health care services.
The committee was of the view that “overall situation was not conducive for lifting restrictions on high speed internet”, he said, adding that it decided however to permit “easing of some restrictions in specified areas which are less sensitive, subject to strict monitoring and periodical review”.
Venugopal said the committee has decided that access to high speed internet would be provided on a trial basis in a calibrated manner and its impact on security will be assessed.
He said restrictions would not be eased around the LoC and the area where restrictions could be eased, should have low intensity of terror activities.
The committee will review the outcome of trial after two months and the trial will be done in one district each in Jammu and Kashmir division, he added.
The top court closed NGO’s plea seeking contempt proceedings against the Union Home Secretary and Chief Secretary of J-K for their alleged “wilful disobedience” in complying with the court’s May 11 order.
On May 11, the top court had ordered the setting up of a”special committee” headed by the Union Home Secretary to consider pleas for restoration of 4G internet services in J-K, saying national security and human rights need to be balanced in view of the fact that the UT has been”plagued with militancy”.
On August 7, the top court had asked the J-K administration to explore the possibility of restoring 4G services in certain areas of the Union Territory, which sought time for instructions on the issue saying a new Lieutenant Governor of the UT has just been appointed.
Manoj Sinha has been appointed the new LG of Jammu and Kashmir, after G C Murmu resigned from the post last week and was appointed Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
The top court had told the administration that with the change of LG, nothing changes as the special committee is there to look into the issue.
It had told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for J-K administration that he has to explain as to under what circumstances the former LG had reportedly said that the 4G internet service can be restored and what was the basis of that statement.
On July 28, the Centre and the J-K administration had told the top court that it will verify reported statements made by Murmu and BJP leader Ram Madhav that 4G Internet service can be restored in the Union Territory, and sought time to file a reply to the rejoinder affidavit filed by an NGO.
Source: Press Trust of India
India approves upgradation of 2G mobile sites to 4G at security sites in LWE areas
NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved a Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) project for upgrading 2G mobile services to 4G at security sites in Left Wing Extremism (LWE) areas
The Project envisages upgrading2,343 left Wing Extremism Phase-I sites from 2G to 4G mobile services at an estimated cost of Rs.1,884.59 crore (Excluding taxes and levies). This includes O&M for five years. However, BSNL will maintain the sites for another five years at its own cost. The work will be awarded to BSNL because these sites belong to BSNL.
The Cabinet also approved funding of operations and maintenance cost of LWE Phase-I 2G sites by BSNL for an extended period beyond the contractual period of five years at an estimated cost of Rs.541.80 crore. The extension will be up to 12 months from the date of approval by the Cabinet or commissioning of 4G sites, whichever is earlier.
Government chose BSNL for a prestigious project to indigenous 4G telecom equipment so as to achieve self-reliance in the telecom gear segment to fulfil domestic market needs apart from exporting to other markets. This 4G equipment will be deployed in this project also.
The upgradation will enable better internet and data services in these LSW areas. It meets the requirements of Ministry of Home Affairs and the state governments. It shall also fulfil the communication needs of the security personnel deployed in these areas. The proposal is in line with the goal of providing mobile connectivity in rural areas. In addition, delivery of various e-governance services, banking services, tele-medicine; tele-education etc. through mobile broadband shall be possible in these areas.
Jio’s IAX and IEX projects to address region’s data revolution
NEW DELHI: Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. (Jio), India’s leading 4G and mobile broadband digital service provider, is constructing the largest international submarine cable system centered on India. Jio, in conjunction with several key global partners and world-class submarine cable supplier SubCom, is currently deploying two next generation cables to support the extraordinary growth in data demand across the region.
The India-Asia-Xpress (IAX) system connects India eastbound to Singapore and beyond, while the India-Europe-Xpress (IEX) system connects India westbound to the Middle East and Europe. The systems will seamlessly interconnect as well as connect to the world’s top interexchange points and content hubs for extension of service globally. IAX and IEX will enhance the ability for consumer and enterprise users to access content and cloud services in and out of India.
For the first time in the history of fiber optic submarine telecommunications, these systems place India at the center of the international network map, recognizing India’s increased importance, staggering growth, and the quantum shift in data use since the launch of Jio services in 2016.
These high capacity and high-speed systems will provide more than 200Tbps of capacity spanning over 16,000 kilometers. Employing open system technology and the latest wavelength switched RoADM/branching units ensures rapid upgrade deployment and the ultimate flexibility to add/drop waves across multiple locations.
“Jio is at the forefront of India’s explosive growth in digital services and data consumption. To meet the demands of Streaming Video, Remote Workforce, 5G, IoT, and beyond, Jio is taking a leadership role in the construction of the first of its kind, India-centric IAX and IEX subsea systems,” said Mathew Oommen, President, Reliance Jio.
“Implementing these critical initiatives in the shadow of a global pandemic is a challenge, but the ongoing pandemic has only accelerated the digital transformation and the necessity of high-performance global connectivity for the delivery of a richer experience to enterprises and consumers,” he added.
The IAX system connects India, the world’s fastest growing economy, to Asia Pacific markets with express connectivity from Mumbai and Chennai to Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore. The IEX system extends India’s connectivity to Italy, landing in Savona, and additional landings in the Middle East and North Africa.
Apart from the seamless connection of the IAX and IEX sub-sea systems, the two systems are also connected to the Reliance Jio Global Fiber Network beyond Asia Pacific and Europe, connecting to both the east and west coast of the USA. IAX is expected to be ready for service mid-2023, while IEX will be ready for service in early 2024.
Spectrum Auction 2021: Telecom Department assigns frequencies to successful bidders
NEW DELHI: Department of Telecom (DoT) today (16.04.2021) successfully completed the assignment of frequencies to successful bidders of the Spectrum Auction, 2021. Frequency assignment letters were issued to successful bidders today.
The frequency assignment was accompanied by a frequency harmonization exercise, whereby spectrum blocks assigned to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the current spectrum auction have been made contiguous with the spectrum blocks already held by them, wherever possible, in various bands in different Licensed Service Areas (LSAs).
The harmonization of spectrum was accomplished in 19 LSAs in 800 MHz band, 8 LSAs in 900 MHz band, 21 LSAs in 1800 MHz band, 3 LSAs in 2100 MHz band, and 16 LSAs in 2300 MHz band.The harmonization exercise facilitates more efficient utilization of spectrum held by TSPs, leading to improved Quality of Service for consumers.
As a part of the frequency assignment, the Government has also accepted the request of two TSPs – M/S Bharti and M/S Reliance Jio, for assignment of immediately available unsold spectrum blocks in place of spectrum blocks in the same band and LSA assigned to them from later dates. An amount of Rs. 2306.97 crore (Rs. 157.38 crore from M/s Bharti and Rs. 2149.59 crore from M/s Reliance Jio) has been received immediately by the Government, rather than in August/ September, 2021.
It may be recalled that a total quantity of 855.60 MHz of spectrum in 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, and 2300 MHz bands was acquired by Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) in the Spectrum Auction, 2021, conducted on 1st and 2nd March, 2021.
The total amount payable by the successful bidders for the total quantity of spectrum acquired is Rs 77820.81 crore.
Of this, an amount of Rs 21918.47 crore was received as upfront payment from the TSPs on 18th March, 2021, as per terms and conditions of the Notice Inviting Applications.
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