The Universal Service Fund (USF) Board approved four projects worth approximately PKR 993 million to provide high speed internet services to approximately 0.66 million people in un-served and under-served areas of Sindh and Punjab provinces. Advised by the Federal Minister for Information Technology (IT) and Telecommunication, Syed Amin ul Haque, the USF Board approved award of high-speed mobile broadband contracts to Jazz. The Federal Secretary for Ministry of IT and Telecommunication & Chairman of USF Board, Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput chaired the 78th Board of Directors meeting of USF on Tuesday.
While addressing the meeting, Federal Secretary for IT and Telecommunication and Chairman of USF Board, Dr. Muhamad Sohail Rajput said, “Access to broadband connectivity is a necessity, and therefore, improving rural access is of crucial priority. We are contributing effectively towards the realization of Digital Pakistan vision and the development of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector to promote sustainable development. These projects will play a vital role in providing better access to education and healthcare facilities to the marginalized communities.” Further, he added that 4G connectivity across the country will make a huge contribution in the socio-economic development of Pakistan.
The Chief Executive Officer of USF, Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary apprised the Board members about the projects. He also shed light on meaningful and accurate representation of the financial and non-financial performance and position of the Company. In his opening remarks, he said, “FY 2020-2021 was indeed an exciting year for our Company, filled with challenges, successes, energy, and lots of learning.
According to the details, the Board approved award of high-speed mobile broadband contracts to jazz for districts of Kambar Shahdadkot, Larkana, Naushahro Feroze and Shaheed Benazirabad. These projects will serve an unserved population of around 0.66 million in 797 unserved muazas and an approximate unserved area of 5,509 sq. km. Furthermore, the Board also approved award of high-speed mobile broadband for National Highways and Motorways contracts to Jazz for providing high-speed mobile broadband services to commuters on M3 and M5 motorways respectively. On M3, an unserved road segment of 54.92 km in districts of Sheikhupura, Nankana Sahib, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh & Khanewal will be provided with 4G connectivity. Similarly, on M5, unserved road segment of 78.85 km in districts of Multan, Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Kashmore, Ghotki & Sukkur will be provided with 4G connectivity.
Other Board members comprising Muhamad Omar Malik, Member- Telecom, MoITT, Maj. Gen (R) Amir Azeem Bajwa, Chairman-PTA, Irfan Wahab, CEO-Telenor Pakistan; Imran Akhtar Shah, VP for Government Sales-Super Net Pvt Ltd and Nominee of Data Licensees; Kaukab Iqbal, Chairman-Consumer Association of Pakistan and Nominee of Consumer Group; and management of USF Co. also attended the meeting.