Spreading the telecom services in far-flung areas of Pakistan, Universal Service Fund (USF) has played a vital role. Insiders suggest that USF can also play its role in the promotion of broadband services in the country. USF to Spread Broadband Services in Baluchistan.
In 2017, the development of telecom infrastructure and services in Baluchistan by various telecommunication operators became possible through USF projects. USF is an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Information Technology. It has paid almost Rs50 billion to different operators for projects in different telecom regions since 2007.
USF to Spread Broadband Services in Baluchistan
Ufone received the grant of Rs14 billion, PTCL received Rs12.2 billion and Telenor received Rs5.2 billion.
USF spokesperson said:
“USF has set out an aggressive strategy to roll out basic infrastructure for telecommunication, basic telephone and internet services for the people and businesses in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Fata,”
USF has reported that, five out of six optical fiber projects were based in Baluchistan. However there is still need for improvement because the province has the lowest number of mobile phone users.
USF spokesperson also mentioned:
Since January 2017, USF has been working to spread first telephone and now broadband services in remote areas like Awaran-Lasbela, Kohistan, Kharan-Washuk, Dera Bugti, Khyber and Mohmand, which is playing a huge role in socio-economic uplift of people and creating immense opportunities in far-flung areas for progress and prosperity
Parvez Iftikhar, who served as the first USF CEO said:
After completing the goal of covering more than 90% of Pakistan’s telephonic signals, now USF can play a vital role in broadband penetration by taking three steps laying fiber optic cables, digital literacy and creating local content
People in remote areas of Pakistan are mostly from poor backgrounds, so they would like to invest in a smartphone in only one case if they find content about their daily life like new techniques of farming or tips about cattle rearing in local language. so there is need to create content in local languages by USF.
For the expansion and penetration of ICT services across Baluchistan, USF financing is absolutely necessary. That will in return give a synergetic effect to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). And as a result it will attract cellular operators to expand their network within the province.