The project was originally launched by President Zardari on January 20th 2010 and within a short span of a few months, more than 25,000 broadband connections have already been provided in 32 cities. While addressing the gathering, President Asif Ali Zardari said that government is committed to mainstream the less-developed areas, like southern Punjab.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Information Technology, Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, Secretary IT, Naguib Ullah 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.
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 37 Cities/Towns located in districts of Bahawalnagar, Bahawalpur, D.G. Khan, Khanewal, Leyyah, Lodhran, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Rahim Yar khan, Rajanpur and Vehari.
The project includes providing broadband facilities in 327 higher secondary schools, colleges and libraries in the 37 cities through the establishment of Educational Broadband Centres (EBCs) and 85 Community Broadband Centres (CBCs) for the citizens who cannot afford PCs. So far40 centres have been established.
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, good governance and commerce.
More details about USF’s Broadband project for Southern Punjab can be found here