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ISLAMABAD: The Universal Service Fund (USF) will lay around 4,000 km-long optical fibre cable by end of the current fiscal year to connect un-served and under-served areas in the country, bringing the total connected areas to 12,000 km.

This was stated by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) USF Haaris Mahmood Chaudhry, while talking to Business Recorder, after a meeting regarding way forward for utilisation of existing optical fibre cable laid in the country.

The meeting was chaired by Federal Secretary Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui.

Chaudhry said that during the last 10 years, around 8,000 km-long optical fibre cable had been laid to connect under-served and un-served areas across the country. He further said that a target of 4,000 km optical fibre cable was set for the current fiscal year where 2,400 km had been completed with Rs 6 billion.

The remaining 1,600 km target would be achieved by end-June 2021, he added.

Replying to another question, he said that there was no security issue for laying cable in former FATA areas and projects in Mohmand, Khyber and Orakzai were being initiated.

The CEO USF further said that a target of 6,000 km would be set for the next financial year. Around 8,000 km optical fibre cable was laid in last 11 years, now the same would be achieved in around three years. He further said that six projects were carried during 2018-19, 12 projects in 2019-20, while 20 projects were targeted to be completed in 2020-21.

The USF aims to promote development of telecommunication services in un-served and under-served rural areas to make available and affordable, the voice telephony and basic data services, throughout the length and breadth of the country.

This requires also the establishment of a stable and reliable optic fibre network in all corners of the country.

This project aims to extend the Optic Fibre connectivity to the un-served Tehsil Headquarters, for meeting the growing requirements of voice, data and video in these areas.

Extending fibre cables to tehsils helped the telecom service providers in extending all kinds of telecom services to those areas.

It is like building information motorways to all tehsils, stated on USF website.

According to an official statement, the secretary IT said that on the direction of Minister for IT Syed Aminul Haque steps were underway for provision of broadband services in un-served and under-served areas of the country.

The secretary IT said that masses could be facilitated in a better way through the use of laid optical fibre cable in an effective manner.

He said it was vital to take steps to facilitate the people.

The secretary IT was given a briefing on existing optical fibre cable laid across the country.

The meeting was attended by the officers of the Ministry of IT and Telecom, the PTA, and the Special Communication Organization (SCO).

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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