Universal Service Fund signed contracts for providing basic telecom services in Nasirabad (Balochistan) with CM Pak and Broadband Services in Multan Telecom Region (Southern Punjab) with World Call. CEO CM Pak, Mr. Qian Li and CEO World Call, Babar Ali Syed signed these contracts with CEO Universal Service Fund, Parvez Iftikhar. Secretary IT, Mr. Naguibullah Malik witnessed the signing ceremony as the chief guest.
In the Rural Telecom project, CMPak will be paid Rs. 1.57 Billion to provide telephony services to 648 unserved Mauzas to serve a population of around half a million in districts of Bolan, Jaffarabad, Jhal Magsi and Nasirabad of Balochistan.
Whereas in the Broadband project, WorldCall will be paid Rs. 785 Million to provide broadband connections in 11 districts (38 small towns) of Southern Punjab, in addition to establishing 27 Educational Broadband Centres in high-schools, colleges and libraries plus 121 Community Broadband Centres. It is noteworthy that this is in addition to broadband services in MTR that PTCL will provide under a contract with Universal Service Fund signed last month.
Giving his remarks on the occasion, Federal Secretary for Information Technology, Mr. Naguibullah Malik said that the Ministry of IT is striving to reinvigorate and stimulate the ICT sector by increasing level of telecom penetration in unserved areas of the country. He informed that Ministry of IT, through Universal Service Fund, has been successfully executing rural-telecom, broadband and optic-fiber programmes that are playing a huge role in socio-economic development in rural and semi-urban Pakistan. He further stated that Broadband Programme will give impetus to provision of other e-services like e-education, e-health, e-government, e-commerce etc.
CEO of Universal Service Fund informed that after signing the two contracts, the total amount of subsidies through Universal Service Fund have crossed Rs. 10 Billion, which has generated total investments of Rs. 16 Billion in unserved areas of the country. Seven major Telecom Service Providers are rolling out these services under contracts with Universal Service Fund. The number of villages where services have already started with the help of Universal Service Fund has exceeded one thousand. Work is in progress for another five thousand villages, including 648 under today’s contract with CMPak. Another five thousand remaining unserved villages shall be covered by Universal Service Fund through future auctions.
Mr. Mushtaq Ahmed Bhatti, Member-Telecom, Ministry of IT, and Dr. Muhammad Yaseen, Chairman-PTA, were also present at the occasion.