USF launches 7 projects worth Rs 8 billion to provide broadband services to over 2.5 million people

broadband services

The Universal Service Fund (USF) on Monday initiated seven projects costing over Rs 8 billion to deliver broadband services to unserved and under-served regions all over the country, which will give benefit over 2.5 million people.

 USF is a subsidiary of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MoITT).

Minister for Information Technology Syed Amin-Ul-Haque, while addressing the 81st board of directors meeting of the USF, said that the USF is aimed to connect the people of remote areas with the digital world. He stated projects which were started in the tenure of this government were being ensured to be accomplished in stipulated time.

“Projects started during the tenure of the present government are being ensured to complete in stipulated time. While for all the projects under the rules only the lowest bidding telecom operators were selected,” he said.

Read more: USF awards contracts to Telenor, Zong, Ufone & PTCL worth Rs 5.11 billion

The meeting informed that projects worth Rs 3.57 billion had been approved for Balochistan.

Moreover, the agreement for the provision of 4G services in Zhob and Qila Saifullah has been awarded to Pak Telecom Mobile Ltd (Ufone) which will be most probably completed in 18 months.

USF chief executive officer Haaris Mahmood Chaudhry gave the briefing to the board that the provision of broadband services was expensive in Balochistan as compared to any other area because of natural land and the vast spread of population.

It was further updated to the meeting that the project would provide broadband services in Bhakkar, Jhang, and Toba Tek Singh districts of Punjab. This responsibility had been awarded to Pakistan Mobile Company Ltd, normally known as Jazz, to benefit over 1 million people.

Meanwhile, the board also awarded another project to Jazz for uninterrupted voice and broadband services on a 95km area of Hakla D.I Khan Motorway connecting Lakki Marwat, Dera Ismail Khan, Mianwali, Attock, and Rawalpindi districts and suburbs of Islamabad.

Under the optical fiber cable scheme, PTCL was also assigned a project to lay 106km long cable in 6 union councils of Haripur and Islamabad from the total cost Rs 410 million, the grant accepted of Rs 235 million.

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