Published On: Fri, Sep 30th, 2016

IT minister vows universal connectivity by 2018



The government is committed to achieving all its milestones including universal connectivity envisaged to connect the un-connected by 2018, Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecom Anusha Rahman said.

She stated this while chairing the 47th board of directors meeting of the Universal Support Fund (USF) on Thursday.

The board reviewed the progress on key projects of ICT services in un-served and under-served areas being carried out by USF Company across the country, with a particular focus on coverage in Balochistan and Fata regions, said a statement issued by the IT ministry.

USF Company CEO briefed the board on the Broadband for Sustainable Development project. He said the company had formally signed an agreement with Ufone for Khuzdar and Chagai lots.

Moreover, Kohistan, Kharan, Washuk and Kohlu lots were also ready to be rolled out within the next few days.

He also apprised the board that USF Company had achieved 50% milestones in Zhob/Sibi and Shangla areas so far and within the next six months the company anticipated the ratio to reach 75%.

The board was informed by the company that Benazir Income Support Programme’s (BISP) data had been received and was being analysed for the initiation of a pilot project for the provision of 30,000 broadband-enabled handsets to women, who are active recipients of BISP funds in un-served and under-served areas of the country.

The IT minister said she and the whole team at the ministry and USF Company had particularly focused on early childhood IT training, particularly for girls. To achieve this aim, a programme is being executed in a girl’s school in the rural area as a pilot project with the provision of a computer lab and teacher training through Microsoft.

She reiterated that the prime objective behind the USF projects was to provide connectivity to the marginalised and remote areas of the country, especially Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan so that Pakistan as a whole could benefit from the sector’s development.

She also directed the USF authorities to step up efforts to complete their rollouts with utmost transparency and efficiency within the given timelines.

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