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October 20, 2020

Rs5.1bln projects approved to provide high-speed broadband

Business

October 20, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday approved Rs5.1 billion worth of projects to provide high-speed mobile broadband services across the country.

The decision was made during the 74th board of directors meeting of Universal Service Fund (USF) presided over by Secretary Ministry of IT and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui.

The board approved award of contracts to Telenor, Zong, Ufone and PTCL through the next generation broadband for sustainable development program and the next generation optical fiber network and services program.

PTCL was awarded the contract of Kashmore, Ghotki, Sukkur and Khairpur districts in Sindh. The next generation optical fiber network and services projects worth approximately Rs3 billion is aimed at laying of 1,078 km of optical fiber cable to connect 140 villages and union councils thereby providing high speed mobile broadband services to 4.7 million people.

Moreover, the board also approved award of contracts under the next generation broadband for sustainable development program worth Rs2 billion to Telenor, Zong and Ufone.

Telenor was awarded the contract of Chitral, upper and lower Dir districts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa whereby an unserved population of around 0.7 million will benefit from high speed mobile broadband services in 648 unserved villages and an approximate unserved area of 18,212 sq. km.

Likewise, Zong was awarded the contract of Karachi West and Malir districts in Sindh that will benefit an unserved population of approximately 0.1 million in 36 unserved villages and approximately 690 sq. km of unserved area.

Similarly, Ufone was awarded the contract of Mastung and Ziarat districts in Balochistan to serve an unserved population of approximately 0.1 million in 226 unserved villages and an approximate unserved area of 6,324 sq. km.

Siddiqui said the basic purpose of these projects is not only to promote tourism infrastructure of the country but also to connect rural population with the digital world. “The ministry of it and telecommunication is leaving no stone unturned to provide broadband services to every Pakistani and accomplish digital Pakistan vision,” he said in a statement. “Therefore, people should remain hopeful that such development interventions will reach them soon as well.” Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary, chief executive officer of USF said the contribution to Digital Pakistan vision remains distinguished.