The Universal Service Fund (USF) Board approved the award of contracts worth approximately PKR 8.81 billion to provide High-Speed Mobile Broadband services to approximately six million people in un-served and under-served areas of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (formerly FATA) provinces.
Advised by the Federal Minister for Information Technology (IT) & Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, the USF Board approved the award of Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development contracts to Telenor, Ufone, and Jazz and Optic Fiber Cable contracts to PTCL. The Federal Secretary for Ministry of Information Technology (IT) & Chairman of USF Board, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui chaired the 75th Board of Directors meeting of USF.
Meanwhile, the Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque in his message congratulated the Chairman of the Board, the CEO, and other Board members on presenting record Broadband projects and expressed concern about people’s problems, rather than seeking recognition for this. He also said that the rapid pace of work for Digital Pakistan under the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication needs no praise. Further, he said that the greatest honor and medal for us will be providing Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to the common man in our time. He added that the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication and its subsidiary departments are showing their significance and usefulness through their performance.
During the meeting, special focus was given to the far-flung areas of Balochistan and the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
While addressing the meeting, Federal Secretary for IT and Telecommunication and Chairman of USF Board, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui said that as advised by Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, the main objective of these projects is to provide facilities to those living in remote areas with either no access to the internet or struggling with poor connectivity. He also said that the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication is working expeditiously to accomplish the vision of Digital Pakistan. Moreover, he said that after the establishment of peace in the most backward areas like Gwadar, Chaghi, Kech, and other dangerous tribal areas, the substantial amount of subsidy for optic fiber cable contracts is proof that the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication is leaving no stone unturned to provide Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to every citizen of Pakistan. The Chief Executive Officer of USF, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary apprised the Board members about the projects. He said that the USF’s role in achieving the vision of Digital Pakistan vision remains significant. Furthermore, he added that the people of the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had a longing to be a part of digital transformation, therefore, as soon as we acquired the right of way, we initiated our projects on a priority basis.
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