The board of the Universal Service Fund (USF) has approved four projects totaling Rs2.14 billion to bring high-speed internet to 2.2 million people in Punjab and Khyber-unserved Pakhtunkhwa’s and underserved districts (K-P).
Telenor and Jazz were awarded internet contracts, while Pakistan Telecommunication Company was awarded an optic fibre cable contract (PTCL).
It also approved USF’s budget of Rs18 billion for fiscal year 2021-22, which was chaired by Ministry of IT and Telecommunication Secretary and USF Board Chairman Dr Sohail Rajput. “The Ministry of IT and Telecommunication, through USF, ensures adequate access to the communication infrastructure for all citizens for the realisation of the Digital Pakistan vision,” Rajput stated at the conference.
The board approved these projects, according to the secretary, to improve the living standards of rural residents, create jobs, and make government services more accessible. The board was updated on the current and planned initiatives by USF Chief Executive Officer Haaris Mahmood Chaudhary.
“USF is devoted to offering the digital method to link people with the digital world through its projects,” he said, adding that the university will improve partnerships, form strategic alliances, and expand its presence.
According to the facts, the board approved the award of contracts worth roughly Rs1.19 billion to Telenor and Jazz under the Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development programme, which would benefit a population of over one million people and a total area of 6,280 square kilometres.
Telenor has been given the contract for Punjab’s Okara, Pakpattan, and Sahiwal districts, which will serve a population of about 0.57 million people in 778 villages spread across 1,540 square kilometres.
Jazz was also awarded the contract for the Punjab districts of Attock and Rawalpindi, as well as the K-P districts of Bannu and Lakki Marwat.