Broadband is considered to be electronic highway of today. USF Broadband Programme has been launched aiming at improving broadband penetration in those 2nd/3rd tier urban areas which are un-served from the Broadband perspective. Uptil now, contracts have been awarded for Broadband Projects to provide a subsidy of PKR 6.3 billion in total. Special emphasis is being paid to educational institutions, whereby the subsidy winners will be required to set-up Computer Labs (Educational Broadband Centres) with Broadband in ultimately 2,000 higher secondary schools and colleges (contracts awarded for 1,173) in their respective areas. Around 700 Community Broadband Centres (contracts awarded for 345) will also be established for people who cannot afford computers. The broadband programme is also giving boost to provision of other e-services like e-health, e-government, e-commerce etc.
Broadband programme aims to deliver the social and economic benefits of ICTs to the masses through affordable broadband, 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, from entertainment and telephone services to delivery of vital services like health care.
According to ‘The Lisbon Consensus’, adopted at the 4th International Telecommunication Union, World Telecommunication Policy Forum on April 24, 2009, the intervention of government for broadband penetration has also been endorsed.
USF plans to run this programme all over the country for providing broadband in un-served urban areas of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.