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All Internet Services suspended in Budgam and Gandarbal in Kashmir for the parliamentary by-elections

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(Representation image) Border Security Force (BSF ) in Kashmir region, Wikimedia
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Srinagar, April 9, 2017: Authorities have suspended all internet services in the three districts of Srinagar, Budgam and Gandarbal where voting is scheduled on Sunday for the parliamentary by-elections.

Both mobile internet and fixed line broadband connectivity were suspended in the three poll-bound districts which constitute Srinagar-Budgam parliamentary constituency.

The authorities refused to confirm the suspension of the internet connectivity on record.

Sources told IANS that the suspension has been enforced to prevent separatists and rumour mongers from disrupting the polls.

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The voting in the parliamentary by-poll would begin at 7 a.m. and end at 5 p.m.

A total of 1,261,397 voters are eligible to exercise democratic right for which 1,559 polling stations have been set up.

Police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to secure the poll staff and polling stations.

Ruling Peoples Democratic Party candidate Nazir Ahmad Khan is challenged by former Chief minister and National Conference President Farooq Abdullah.

Although there are nine candidates in the fray, the contest is mainly between Khan and Abdullah who is the joint candidate of the National Conference and the Congress. (IANS)

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Half The Global Population Uses The Internet: ITU Report

The ITU says countries that are hooked into the digital economy do better in their overall economic well-being and competitiveness.

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Nigeria, Population
Youths are seen browsing the internet inside the venue of the launch of Google free wifi project in Lagos, Nigeria. VOA

The International Telecommunication Union reports that for the first time in history, half of the global population is using the internet. A new report finds by the end of the year, 3.9 billion people worldwide will be online.

The report finds access to and use of information and communication technologies around the world is trending upwards. It notes most internet users are in developed countries, with more than 80 percent of their populations online. But it says internet use is steadily growing in developing countries, increasing from 7.7 percent in 2005 to 45.3 percent this year.

The International Telecommunication Union says Africa is the region with the strongest growth, where the percentage of people using the internet has increased from just over two percent in 2005 to nearly 25 percent in 2018.

Somalia, Population
A Somali man browses the internet on his mobile phone at a beach in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu. VOA

The lowest growth rates, it says, are in Europe and the Americas, with the lowest usage found in the Asia-Pacific region.

In addition to data on internet usage, newly released statistics show mobile access to basic telecommunication services is becoming more predominant. ITU Senior Statistician, Esperanza Magpantay says access to higher speed mobile and fixed broadband also is growing.

“So, there is almost 96 percent of the population who are now covered by mobile population signal of which 90 percent are covered by 3G access. So, this is a high figure, and this helps explain why we have this 51 percent of the population now using the internet,” she said.

With the growth in mobile broadband, Magpantay says there has been an upsurge in the number of people using the internet through their mobile devices.

Nairobi, Population
Young men surf the internet at a cyber cafe on June 20, 2012 in Kibera slum in Nairobi.

The ITU says countries that are hooked into the digital economy do better in their overall economic well-being and competitiveness. Unfortunately, it says the cost of accessing telecommunication networks remains too high and unaffordable for many.

Also Read: Global Care Crisis Rises Along With Growing Population

It says prices must be brought down to make the digital economy a reality for the half the world’s people who do not, as yet, use the internet. (VOA)