The Board of Directors (BoD) of Universal Service Fund Company (USF Co) has approved the award of two contracts with a subsidy of Rs. 680 million to Telenor Pakistan and Jazz under the Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development (NGBSD) Programme.
Federal Secretary Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, chaired the 68th Board of Directors meeting of Universal Service Fund Company on Wednesday. Chairman PTA Maj Gen Amir Azeem Bajwa (retd) was also present in the meeting.
The Board approved contracts to Telenor and PMCL (Jazz) worth Rs 680 million for Kurram and Sanghar Lots.
PMCL (Jazz) is being awarded the contract of Kurram Lot while Telenor is being awarded the contract of Sanghar Lot under Next Generation Broadband for Sustainable Development (NG-BSD) Programme. This is part of the inclusive approach of the government to strengthen the pillar of connectivity under “Digital Pakistan.”
During the meeting, the chairman USF Board and secretary IT were apprised about the progress of USF projects. High speed broadband services in Kurram Lot will benefit the unserved population of approximately 400,000 thereby covering 200 unserved mauzas and an approximate unserved area of 2,900 square kilometers.
Kurram Lot encompasses Frontier Region Kurram, Lower Kurram and Upper Kurram tehsils. Similarly, an unserved population of approximately 1.4 million will gain benefit from high speed broadband services in Sanghar Lot. The lot consists of Sanghar and Umerkot districts with an approximate unserved area of 12,000 sq km and 500 unserved mauzas.
The spokesperson of MoIT&T said that the Chairman USF Board and Secretary IT Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui emphasized on connecting the people of Pakistan who did not have access to the latest ICT facilities. He also said that these projects will bring the people of Kurram and Sanghar at par with the wider society and will also be helpful in solving the problems of illiteracy, poverty and unemployment.
Furthermore, the federal secretary welcomed the Prime Minister’s most recent expression of support for the continued and ongoing work of “Digital Pakistan.” In addition to this, he also acknowledged other board members’ valuable contributions to make advancements in the implementation of USF projects.
The Board greatly appreciated the chairman USF Board for providing guidance and wisdom to accomplish USF’s mission. Other board members comprising Shabahat Ali Shah, Executive Director NITB; Irfan Wahab, CEO-Telenor Cluster Head for Emerging Asia and nominees of mobile cellular operators; Imran Akhtar Shah, VP for Government Sales, Super Net Pvt Ltd and nominee of Data Licensees; Rashid Khan, CEO PTCL and nominee of fixed line operators; Kaukab Iqbal, Chairman Consumer Association of Pakistan and nominee of Consumer Group, and management of USF Co also attended the meeting.