Govt to grant high-speed internet in remote areas, tourist resorts


A view of the Kumrat Valley in Swat. Photo: Getout.pk
A view of the Kumrat Valley in Swat. Photo: Getout.pk
  • USF Board awards high-speed mobile broadband contracts to three telecos; Optic Fiber Cable Projects contracts handed over to PTCL. 
  • USF approves 10 projects of an estimated cost of Rs11.5bn. 
  • Move undertaken to promote connectivity in far-flung areas of the country. 

Travel buffs will be excited to hear that the Universal Service Fund (USF) has approved 10 projects of an estimated cost of Rs11.5bn to provide broadband internet services and Optical Fiber Project for Kumrat Valley, Swat and 19 other un-served and under-served districts of Pakistan. 

The USF Board held its meeting under chairmanship of Secretary Ministry of Information Technology & Telecom (MoITT) Sohail Rajput during this week in which the Board members participated. The Chief Executive Officer USF Haris Mehmood Chaudhry briefed the Board members about different development projects in order to promote connectivity for far-flung areas of the country.

The USF Board approved awarding of high-speed mobile broadband contracts to three telecos while the Optic Fiber Cable Projects contracts were handed over to the PTCL.

The USF Board approved the award of high-speed mobile broadband contracts to a teleco for the Mianwali and Khushab districts in Punjab that will serve a population of around 0.37 million in 186 unserved muazas and an approximate unserved area of 5,080sq km.

The Board also approved the award of high-speed mobile broadband projects in tourist destination contracts to a teleco, covering the districts of Mansehra, Abbottabad, Swat and Upper Dir in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. 

These projects will provide access to 153.83km unserved route length and an approximate unserved area of 65.51sq. km. The tourist projects in destinations like Janat Nazeer Wadi, Kumrat and others will strengthen the prime minister’s tourism programme and tourists and local citizenry will enjoy access to the fastest internet and network services.

On the special directives of Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Aminul Haque, the preliminary technical survey and design for these projects has been completed in record time while the projects are expected to be completed in minimum time. 

Furthermore, the Board also approved the award of high-speed mobile broadband for the contract to a teleco to provide high-speed mobile broadband services in the districts of Lasbella and Awaran in Balochistan that will serve an unserved population of around 0.15 million in 223 unserved muazas and an approximate unserved area of 39,012 sq km.

Similarly, the Board also approved the award of high-speed mobile broadband contract to another teleco for providing high-speed mobile broadband services in the districts of Buner and Shangla in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that will serve an unserved population of around 95,840 in 102 unserved muazas and an approximate unserved area of 1,232sq. km. 

The USF Board also approved the OFC Programme for the union council level and the award of optic fiber cable contracts to PTCL for providing backhaul connectivity in districts of Mianwali, Dadu, Jamshoro, Badin and Hyderabad in Sindh that will serve an unserved population of around 3.7 million in 135 unserved union councils by laying 1,385km of optic fiber cable and installing 301 BTS Towers

While addressing the meeting, Federal Secretary for IT and Telecommunication and Chairman of the USF Board Dr Muhammad Sohail Rajput said that USF had come into being 15 years ago but in the first 12 years the pace of the implementation of projects was dismally slow.


Originally published in

The News



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