14th March, 2022 USF Board of Directors  approves 7 projects worth PKR 8 billion to provide hi-speed internet to over 2.5 million residents in remote areas of all provinces including PKR 3.5billion projects in #Balochistan.


Ministry of IT and Telecommunication (MOITT) Launches 7 more projects worth PKR 8 billion of Optical Fiber Cable and Broadband Services for provinces. The USF Board of Directors approved all the projects, including PKR 3.5 Billion projects for Balochistan. IT Minister Syed Amin-Ul-Haque said: Record number of 56 projects launched, worth PKR 52 Billion, in the present Government’s tenure till date.

Islamabad: Monday, 14th March, 2022.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication (MOITT) through USF has launched seven more projects worth over PKR 8 billion to provide Broadband services to over 2.5 million people in the un-served and under-served areas of the four provinces, including PKR 3.5 billion for projects in Balochistan.

The projects were approved here on Monday at the 81st meeting of the Board of Directors of the Universal Service Fund (USF). The number of projects for providing optical fiber cable and broadband services from 2018 to date has reached a new record of 56 projects and the total cost (subsidy) has exceeded PKR 52 billion.

The meeting was chaired by Secretary IT & Telecom and Chairman USF Board Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput while Chairman PTA Major General (Retd) Amir Azeem Bajwa, Member Telecom Muhammad Umar Malik, CEO Telenor Irfan Wahab Khan, Imran Akhtar Shah, Kokab Iqbal, Sibte Hassan Gardezi and other officials were present. Chief Executive Officer USF Haaris Mahmood Chaudhry gave a detailed briefing to the Board about the projects.

Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication Syed Amin-Ul-Haque, while congratulating the USF Board on the launch of the projects, said that whatever the political situation, the MOITT and its subsidiaries, especially the Universal Service Fund, continue to perform. This is a solid demonstration of our commitment to connecting people in remote areas of the country to the Digital World.

He said that the completion of all the projects started during the tenure of the present government, is being done within the stipulated time, with the projects being awarded to the lowest bidding telecom operators as per the rules.

Earlier addressing the meeting, Secretary IT and Chairman USF Board Dr. Muhammad Sohail Rajput said that the provision of broadband services to the residents of the un-served and under-served areas of the country is as much needed as for the big cities.

He said that while the implementation of projects for the four provinces has been ensured under the rules and regulations, the projects, worth PKR 3.57 billion, have been approved in principle, giving special importance to the deprived Balochistan population.

Dr. Sohail Rajput further said that as ​​Balochistan is Pakistan’s largest province by area, the provision of broadband services in this province is more costly than in the rest of the country, the Board under the direction of Federal Minister for IT Syed Amin-Ul-Haque, have always prioritized it.

Meanwhile, according to the Projects approved at the USF Board of Directors meeting, the project to provide 4G services in Qila Saifullah and Zhob in Balochistan has been awarded to Pak Telecom Mobile Limited (Ufone) with a total subsidy of PKR 3.57 billion, with a completion period of 18 months. The project would facilitate more than a hundred thousand residents in 111 villages, spread over an area of ​​8,408 sq. km.

The plan to provide broadband services in Jhang, Bhakkar and Toba Tek Singh districts of Punjab has been given to Pakistan Mobile Company Limited (Jazz) on which the amount of subsidy given is PKR. 2.25 billion with a one year completion time. In a short span of time, facilities will be provided to a population of over 1 million in 722 villages, spread over an area of ​​8,925 sq. km.

The meeting also approved the project of uninterrupted Voice and Broadband services on a 95 km section of Hakla D.I Khan Motorway, connecting Dera Ismail Khan, Lakki Marwat, Mianwali, Attock and Rawalpindi districts to Jazz at a subsidy of PKR 375.33 million. Similarly, a plan to provide broadband services in six Mauzas in the outskirts of Islamabad has been handed over to Jazz at a cost of PKR. 11 million. The project to provide mobile services in a Mauza of Mandi Bahauddin has also been handed over to Jazz at a cost of PKR. 22.6 million.

Under the optical fiber cable (OFC) program, 555 km long optical fiber cable project in Larkana and Qambar Shahdad Kot districts of Sindh have been given to PTCL with a total subsidy of PKR. 1.61 billion, with a completion period of one year. By connecting the 62 union councils of these districts, it will be possible to provide high speed connectivity to the population of more than 1.2 million.

Another project under Optical Fiber Cable Program, was awarded to PTCL, to lay 106 km long cable for a population of more than 136,000 residents in 6 Union Councils of Haripur and Islamabad. Out of the total cost of PKR 410 million, the subsidy approved is worth PKR 235 million.

In addition to the afore-mentioned, the USF Board of Directors have approved in principle the appointment of Ms. Alia Afridi for the post of Company Secretary at Universal Service Fund. She was one of the top 3 shortlisted candidates, after interviewing 37 candidates, on the recommendations of the Human Resource Committee. Ms. Alia Afridi has high academic qualifications and significant experience in the related field.