President Asif Ali Zardari launched a project to provide Broadband Internet in Southern Punjab funded by Universal Service Fund (Ministry of IT), worth Rs. 1.95 billion.
A plaque unveiling ceremony of the project was held at the Governor House Lahore. Secretary IT, Naguibullah Malik and Parvez Iftikhar, CEO-Universal Service Fund were also present at the occasion along with Federal Ministers and Secretaries, MNAs, MPAs, government officials and other notables of Punjab.
Secretary IT briefed the President about the USF projects and President desired for their early completion.
This project (being implemented through PTCL and Worldcall) involves providing broadband facilities in un-served urban areas of Southern Punjab. There is an un-served population of 4.4 Million which resides in 38 Cities/Towns located in districts of Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, D.G. Khan, Khanewal, Leyyah, Lodhran, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar khan, Rajanpur and Vehari.
Moreover, 101,500 broadband connections will be provided through this project and it also includes providing broadband facilities in 388 higher secondary schools, colleges and libraries through the establishment of Educational Broadband Centres (EBCs) and 104 Community Broadband Centres (CBCs) for the citizens who cannot afford PCs.
The Broadband project aims to deliver the social and economic benefits of ICTs to the masses, thus helping to achieve Government’s objective of breaking the poverty cycle and eliminating the social divide. Broadband is also a key element of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals on poverty reduction and is globally bringing a paradigm shift to the way people run their lives. It is also transforming every facet of communications by providing e-services related to education, healthcare and good governance.