Modern broadband facilities


Islamabad—Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoIT) would provide modern broadband facilities to an un-served population of about 196,177 individuals in some 269 unserved Mauzas and an un-served area of 39,434 sq kms in Balochistan.
These areas would be facilitated under broadband for sustainable development. Universal Service Fund (USF), a subsidiary of MoIT has accorded approval to Rs 2.3 billion Awaran-Lasbela broadband project which covers 12.8 percent of the area and 6.5 percent of the total estimated population of Balochistan.
Official sources on Monday said USF in a recently held meeting with Minister of State for IT & Telecom, Anusha Rahman took an overview of existing projects of USF pertaining to establishment of 50 more Computer Labs in Women Empowerment Centers, Bait-Ul-Maal (PBM) under Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for Girls Programme and Broadband for low income women in phase-2.
This Lot shares borders with Karachi and Dadu Districts in East, Khuzdar and Washuk in North, Panjgoor and Kech in West and Gwadar District in South. The sources said that USF has set a target to reach all under-served and un-served areas of the country with rural telephone and e-Services (RTeS) by 2018.
Despite massive growth in telecom, vast areas of the country are still un-served. On the other hand, telecom is one of the most important tools for rapid development, especially in rural areas.
All licensed telcos contribute at a rate of 1.5 percent of their revenue towards the USF to reach such areas. The USF Board of Directors has also approved Rs. 13 billion for financial year 2016-2017 to ensure coverage of telecom and internet facilities in far flung areas.
Four new projects at an estimated cost of Rs. 3 billion are going to be started in 2016-17 to extend IT and telephone services to far-flung areas while further Rs 9.52 billion will be spent on ongoing projects in un-served areas of four provinces.
New lines at a cost of Rs 2.43 billion will be laid in Balochistan, Kharaan, Washuk, Dera Bugti, Kohistan and Waziristan in current financial year. An amount of Rs 11.94 million has been earmarked for provision of telephone services in rural areas during 2016-17.
The USF plans to establish 500 Tele-centers, of which 30 are already established to serve as a one stop for telecommunication services. The USF has provided telecommunication facility to 310 under-served towns and provided 5500 km of fiber optics so far. In addition, USF has established 50 computer labs for women empowerment centers.—APP