Information Technology ministry starts Rs11.5 billion projects for 19 districts

ISLAMABAD – The Universal Service Fund (USF) Board has approved 10 projects worth Rs11.5 billion to provide high-speed internet service and Optical Fiber Projects for Top Tourist Destination areas. 

These areas included Kumrat Valley, Swat besides in 19 un-served and under-served districts of Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and Punjab provinces. The projects had been launched on the advice of Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque to facilitate approximately 4.4 million people living in these areas.

The USF Board approved an award of high-speed mobile broadband contracts to Jazz, Ufone, and Telenor while the optic fiber cable projects contracts to PTCL, said a news release issued here on Sunday.

This was decided in the 80th meeting of USF Board Directors chaired by the Federal Secretary for Ministry of IT and Telecommunication and Chairman of USF Board, Dr Muhammad Sohail Rajput. 

The meeting was attended by Member Telecom, Muhammad Omar Malik, Chairman PTA, Major General (retd) Amir Azeem Bajwa, VP for Government Sales-Super Net Pvt Ltd, Imran Akhtar Shah, Chairman-Consumer Association of Pakistan, Kaukab Iqbal, and other officials. 

USF Board approves an award of high-speed mobile broadband contracts to Jazz, Ufone, and Telenor while optic fiber cable projects contracts to PTCL

While addressing the meeting, Federal Secretary for IT and Telecommunication and Chairman of USF Board, Dr Muhammad Sohail Rajput said: “USF was established 15 years ago but in the first 12 years the pace of implementation of projects was quite slow.”

Sharing details of the projects, he said in the last three years since the current government took charge a record 37 projects worth over Rs31 billion have been contracted in Financial Year 2019-20. He said 12 projects were contracted in FY 2020-21, 25 projects were contracted, and in FY 2020-21.

“We are planning to contract 28 projects. This reflects the exemplary leadership of Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque who is working day and night to fulfill the Prime Minister’s Digital Pakistan vision and Connectivity for all policy,” he added.

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

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

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

On the special directive of Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication, Syed Amin Ul Haque, the preliminary technical survey and design for these projects has been completed in record time while the projects will also be completed in minimum time. 

Furthermore, the board also approved an award of high-speed mobile broadband for a contract to Ufone for providing high-speed mobile broadband services in 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 an award of a high-speed mobile broadband contract to Telenor for providing high-speed mobile broadband services in 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 1,232 sq km.

USF Board also approved OFC programme for union council level and 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 1,385 km of optic fiber cable and installing 301 BTS Towers.

 

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