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Digital Pakistan: USF board approves Rs2.14b contracts

ISLAMABAD: Universal Service Fund (USF) approves High-Speed Internet Projects, Broadband Contracts.

The Ministry of Information Technologies (IT) and Telecommunications has approved the allocation of funds for the Universal Service Fund (USF) projects for high-speed Internet services and new generation broadband contracts,

The approval came today at the 77th meeting of the Board of Directors of the Universal Service Fund (USF) chaired by the Secretary of TI, Dr. Sohail Rajput. The board approved the USF budget worth approximately Rs 18 billion for the fiscal year 2021-22.

Digital Pakistan
The council has approved four USF projects worth approximately Rs2.14 billion to provide high-speed Internet services to approximately 2.2 million people in un-served and underserved areas of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) provinces.

In addition, next-generation broadband contracts were awarded to two mobile phone companies and a fiber optic cable (OFC) to Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL).

Dr. Sohail Rajput said the ministry is ensuring adequate access to communication infrastructure for all citizens for realizing the vision of digital Pakistan through the USF.

The projects were approved by the USF board to improve the living standards of rural populations, create jobs and facilitate access to government services with the advice of Federal Minister of Information Technology and Telecommunications Syed Aminul Haque, he added.

The board of directors was briefed by USF chief executive (CEO) Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary about current and future projects.

Through the projects, the government plans to connect people to the world digitally, as well as strengthen alliances, develop strategic alliances, and further expand its presence.

The USF board has approved the award of contracts under the Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development (NGBSD) program worth approximately Rs 1.19 billion to two mobile phone companies. An underserved population of over 1 million and an underserved area of ​​approximately 6,280 square kilometers will benefit.

The contract for the Okara, Pakpattan, and Sahiwal districts in Punjab has been awarded to Telenor. It will serve a population of approximately 0.57 million in 778 mua unattended and an unattended area of ​​approximately 1,540 sq km.

The contract of Okara, Pakpattan, and Sahiwal districts in Punjab was awarded to Telenor. It will serve a population of around 0.57 Million in 778 unserved muazas and an approximate unserved area of 1,540 sq km.

The contract of the Attock and Rawalpindi districts in the Punjab, Bannu, and Lakki Marwat districts in KP was awarded to Jazz for the benefit of a disadvantaged population of approximately 0.5 million people in 423 neglected muazas and approximately 4,740 square kilometers of underserved area.

The Fiber Optic Cable (OFC) program contract was awarded to PTCL for Punjab’s Layyah and DG Khan districts after USF board approval.

The OFC project is worth around 950 million rupees and aims to lay 469 km of fiber optic cable to connect 49 cities and union councils (UC), thus providing broadband access to a disadvantaged population of around 1, 15 million.

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