Kashmir: Where ‘Digital India’ Ends · Global Voices
thomwithoutanh's bookmarks 2016-09-16
Internet-enabled mobile devices are now available for less than $20 in India, and sales are booming. Data is becoming cheaper and connectivity is getting better. There are millions of new internet users every month, almost all on mobile. Everyone communicates using WhatsApp, which is much more than a messaging service; it’s a proper social network that functions well even with low-quality devices. Facebook doesn’t always work. WhatsApp is far more effective than the old text messaging for exchanging information and organizing group activities, “anti-national” or otherwise. The internet is not completely absent in Kashmir right now, but it might as well be. The state-run telecommunications company BSNL maintains its internet availability and phone connections, but few use the service. Broadband internet has now been restored, but most people still don’t have this kind of connection in their homes—luxury hotels and other commercial locations usually have Wi-Fi, and some people have found ways to tap into these sources, often gathering to use their smartphones and stolen Wi-Fi passwords in alleyways near these buildings. For most people, there is no internet.
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