The government has promised to give resources from Universal Services Fund (USF) for provision of Pakistan Telecom Limited, Ufone, services in various towns of Malakand.
This assurance was given to the senators by the high-ups of Ministry of Information Technology after Pakistan Telecommunication Authority was asked to brief regarding the progress made so far on the issue of lack of services of Pakistan Telecom Limited (Ufone). The senior officials of the ministry assured that funding would be provided from the USF to ensure services of Pakistan Telecom Limited.
Govt. Pledge to Give USF Resources for Providing Ufone Services in Malakand
The PTA also stated that in order to ensure the proliferation of telecommunication services across the country, the mobile telecommunication licences include minimum rollout obligation to be met by the licensees within the given time frame.
The PTA further stated that as far as the provision of services at a particular location in addition to the rollout obligation is concerned, the licensee makes such decisions after necessary evaluation of security concerns and comprehensive analysis.
“We receive requests for provision of services to certain population which are duly analysed and taken up with the licensees to address the grievance,” the regulatory authority said and added that in addition, consumers have always the opportunity to switch between the networks in the absence of a particular service provider in an area and availing mobile number portability while retaining the existing mobile number.
The PTA said that there may exist certain population or geographical areas that would remain un-served or under-served. The government established the USF Company under Ministry of Information Technology and Communication as part of the deregulation process and the company is responsible to subsidise/finance the operation for provision of the communication services in un-served and under-served areas of the country.
The company, according to PTA, gets funding from Universal Services Fund, which in turn gets a contribution from telecom operators as per licence terms and conditions, which amounts to 15 percent of the adjusted gross revenue.
The USF Company surveys un-served and under-served areas and provides funds to the operators for the provision of telecom services and it was also reported by a few operators that due to security concerns, the services are temporarily turned off in compliance with the directives issued by the security/ law enforcement agencies.