Prateek Waghre’s Work Quoted in JKCCS report on ‘Kashmir’s Internet Siege’, Livemint and TRTWorld

Prateek Waghre’s comparison of 2G v/s 4G network performance and joint analysis of the J&K allow-list with Rohini Lakshané was quoted in a report by Jammu Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society on Kashmir’s Internet Siege.

Some of these data points were subsequently used by publications such as Livemint, TRTWorld,

Technology researcher, Prateek Waghre estimates a loss of around 3.5 billion hours (and counting) of disrupted internet access for approximately 12.25 million people.

In April 2020 Prateek Waghre undertook a “theoretical comparison” between 2G and 4G network speeds while comparing the completion of common tasks on the internet. He also analysed the effect that 2G can have on video streaming (broadcast) and video conferencing (interactive) applications. He performed these tests to demonstrate the difference in user experience on 2G and 4G speeds “in the context of the mandated internet speed restrictions in the union territory of Jammu & Kashmir in India.” Based on ‘observed’ 2G speeds, tasks could take 50 times as long. Even when users lowered the settings of the platforms observed (including YouTube) to the lowest recommended levels, these settings proved to be higher than the speeds made available (both at the ‘observed’ 2G speed and the ‘theoretical peak’ 2G speed), resulting in significant quality degradation. This degradation is also expected in applications like Zoom and Skype, and worsen with multitasking, the report said. Most applications currently written presume upon higher speeds, which means that there is a higher likelihood of a server timeout if too much time is taken to download content. (Waghre’s paper was also referred to in the case of Foundation for Media Professionals v UT of Jammu & Kashmir & Another, which is currently being heard in the Supreme Court.)

An important analysis by Rohini Lakshane and Prateek Waghre in MediaNama pointed out that a “white-list” is not even technically feasible owing to the interconnected nature of the internet – of the 301 white-listed websites researchers found that only 126 were usable “to some degree.”