The Universal Service Fund (USF) Board on Thursday approved awards of contracts to the PMCL (Jazz), the CMPAK (Zong), and the PMTL (Ufone) for Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development Projects worth around Rs895 million.
Federal Secretary Ministry of IT and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui chaired the 73rd Board of Directors meeting of the USF.
Jazz is being awarded the contract of Ghotki, Sukkur and Khairpur districts, while Zong is being awarded the contract of Jaffarabad, Sohbatpur, and Nasirabad districts. Simultaneously, Ufone is also being awarded the contract of Ziarat and Kalat districts. The hi-speed mobile broadband services in Ghotki, Sukkur and Khairpur districts will benefit an unserved population of around two million, thereby, covering 549 unserved muazas, and an approximate unserved area of 23,252 sq km.
Similarly, an unserved population of approximately 0.4 million will gain advantage from hi-speed mobile broadband services in Jaffarabad, Sohbatpur, and Nasirabad districts, thereby, covering 227 unserved muazas, and approximately 3,431 sq km of unserved area.
Likewise, the hi-speed mobile broadband services in Ziarat and Kalat districts will benefit an unserved population of 17,406, thereby, covering 15 unserved muazas and an approximate unserved area of 64 sq km. During the meeting, the secretary IT was apprised about the progress in the USF projects.
The federal secretary laid stress on the critical need of internet connectivity, especially now, as working and educating from home has become the norm. Moreover, he informed that mobile broadband services will socially and economically transform the lives of millions residing in Balochistan and Sindh.
In addition, he added that these projects have the potential to impact important aspects of society such as healthcare, education and business opportunities. Other board members comprising Maj Gen (retd) Amir Azeem Bajwa, chairman PTA; Shabahat Ali Shah, CEO-NITB; Irfan Wahab, CEO-Telenor Pakistan; Rashid Khan, CEO-PTCL and nominee of fixed line operators; Kaukab Iqbal, chairman Consumer Association of Pakistan and nominee of Consumer Group, and management of the USF Co also attended the meeting.
The article is originally published at : brecorder