Universal Service Fund (USF) has decided to make it mandatory for the telecom operators in rural areas, where USF is providing subsidy, to power their infrastructure through renewable energy sources.
This was decided by Board of directors of Universal Service Fund (USF) in their 20th meeting yesterday. Meeting was chaired by Federal Secretary IT, Mr. Naguibullah Malik.
It has been observed that commercial power has not reached most of the areas where USF is running rural telecom projects, which proves to be a barrier to provide smooth uninterrupted telecom service. Even where commercial power infrastructure is available, the availability of power is extremely limited. As a result, the telecom operators have to rely on diesel generators. But not only there is the cost of diesel, the re-fueling at these sites is also a big and expensive hassle.
At the same time, there is also a great need for cross-cutting operational expenses for maintenance of remote and hard-to-reach remote sites. Therefore, it was decided in the meeting that operators will bid for all future infrastructure in unserved areas with renewable energy solutions.
This decision will play an important role in reducing the energy costs and is also a small contribution towards dealing with the energy crisis in Pakistan. Moreover, this initiative will also help reduce carbon content in the atmosphere.
Wind, solar and other forms of non-fossil fuel energy, such as hydro and geothermal can contribute in this effort.
Thus hundreds of renewable energy solutions will get deployed which will not only reduce Green House Gasses (mainly CO2) emissions in the atmosphere, it will also help bring down prices of solar and wind power solutions in the country.