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August 14, 2020

Broadband projects approved for unserved areas

Business

August 14, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Universal Service Fund (USF) has approved the award of contracts to PMCL (Jazz), CMPAK (Zong) and PMTL (Ufone) for Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development Projects worth around Rs895 million, a statement said on Thursday. These approvals were given during a meeting of the board of directors the USF, chaired by Federal Secretary Ministry of IT and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui.

According to the statement, Jazz is being awarded the contract of Ghotki, Sukkur, and Khairpur districts, Zong for Jaffarabad, Sohbatpur and Nasirabad districts, Ufone for Ziarat and Kalat districts.

It said the Hi-speed Mobile Broadband services in Ghotki, Sukkur and Khairpur districts would benefit an unserved population of around two million, thereby covering 549 unserved muazas and an approximate unserved area of 23,252 sq-km. Similarly, an unserved population of approximately four million will gain advantage from these services in Jaffarabad, Sohbatpur, and Nasirabad districts, thereby covering 227 unserved mauzas and approximately 3,431 sq-km of unserved area. Likewise, the these services in Ziarat and Kalat districts will benefit an unserved population of 17,406 thereby covering 15 unserved muazas and an approximate unserved area of 64 sq-km.

During the meeting, the federal secretary laid stress on the critical need of internet connectivity, especially now, as working and educating from home has become the norm.

“Mobile broadband services will socially and economically transform the lives of millions residing in Balochistan and Sindh,” the secretary said adding that these projects had the potential to impact important aspects of society such as healthcare, education, and business opportunities.

The meeting was attended by other USF board members, representatives of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, officials of the cellular network operators, etc.