The Universal Service Fund (USF) has awarded six projects of Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development (NGBSD) worth Rs 2.8 billion for strengthening the socio-economic status of the under-served and un-served areas of the country.
The USF Policy Committee had agreed on annual budget of Rs 9.517 billion for the fund for fiscal year 2019-2020.
The USF has spent around Rs 56.013 billion since its operational in 2007, expand basic telephony, and mobile broadband services to the under -served and un-served areas of the country.
Ministry of IT and Telecommunication said that the ministry has made landmark achievements in the first six months (July-December) of fiscal year 2019-2020 with the support of the USF. Six projects of NGBSD worth Rs 2.8 billion were awarded for the socio-economic uplift of the people during this period.
Hi-speed mobile broadband access is being provided to over nine million (approximately) citizens in total, residing in 4,333 mauzas spread across 13 districts through these projects.
The contracts of these projects were awarded for hi-speed broadband services in Hyderabad (districts of Matiari, Tando Allahyar, Hyderabad, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin and Sujawal), Bahawalpur (district of Bahawalpur), Rahimyar Khan (district of Rahimyar Khan), Bahawalnagar (Bahawalnagar), DG Khan (DG Khan and Layyah), and Tharparkar (Tharparkar and Mirpurkhas).
The contracts of these projects were awarded to Telenor and PMCL (Jazz). Ministry of IT and Telecom through the USF is enabling citizens of Pakistan to harness dividends of the 4th industrial revolution by the implementation of all these projects.
All these programmes are acting as a medium to stimulate economic growth, create jobs, trigger financial inclusion, decrease disparities, reduce social inclusion and enable improvements in education, healthcare and other social services.
USF plans to award contracts for the projects in Sanghar (Umerkot and Sanghar), Muzaffargarh (Muzaffargarh and Rajanpur), Kurram (Kurram), Bolan (Kacchi-Bolan and Jhal Magsi) and Jaffarabad (Jaffarabad, Sohbatpur and Nasirabad) in the second half of the FY 2019-2020 for further get the benefits from these projects.
The USF with the support of the Ministry of IT and Telecom is creating a success story for the public-private partnership entities nationally and internationally, and a large number of countries are replicating the USF model of Pakistan.
Such achievements will keep enabling the USF to reach new heights in the future. However, despite spending around Rs 56.013 billion to date, some of the un-served and under-served areas in Balochistan, as well as South Waziristan and Kurram districts of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, still require access to basic telephony and mobile broadband services.