AIRLINK 74.64 Decreased By ▼ -0.21 (-0.28%)
BOP 5.01 Increased By ▲ 0.03 (0.6%)
CNERGY 4.51 Increased By ▲ 0.02 (0.45%)
DFML 42.44 Increased By ▲ 2.44 (6.1%)
DGKC 87.02 Increased By ▲ 0.67 (0.78%)
FCCL 21.58 Increased By ▲ 0.22 (1.03%)
FFBL 33.54 Decreased By ▼ -0.31 (-0.92%)
FFL 9.66 Decreased By ▼ -0.06 (-0.62%)
GGL 10.43 Decreased By ▼ -0.02 (-0.19%)
HBL 114.29 Increased By ▲ 1.55 (1.37%)
HUBC 139.94 Increased By ▲ 2.50 (1.82%)
HUMNL 12.25 Increased By ▲ 0.83 (7.27%)
KEL 5.21 Decreased By ▼ -0.07 (-1.33%)
KOSM 4.50 Decreased By ▼ -0.13 (-2.81%)
MLCF 38.09 Increased By ▲ 0.29 (0.77%)
OGDC 139.16 Decreased By ▼ -0.34 (-0.24%)
PAEL 25.87 Increased By ▲ 0.26 (1.02%)
PIAA 22.20 Increased By ▲ 1.52 (7.35%)
PIBTL 6.80 No Change ▼ 0.00 (0%)
PPL 123.58 Increased By ▲ 1.38 (1.13%)
PRL 26.81 Increased By ▲ 0.23 (0.87%)
PTC 14.01 Decreased By ▼ -0.04 (-0.28%)
SEARL 58.53 Decreased By ▼ -0.45 (-0.76%)
SNGP 68.01 Decreased By ▼ -0.94 (-1.36%)
SSGC 10.47 Increased By ▲ 0.17 (1.65%)
TELE 8.39 Increased By ▲ 0.01 (0.12%)
TPLP 11.05 Decreased By ▼ -0.01 (-0.09%)
TRG 63.21 Decreased By ▼ -0.98 (-1.53%)
UNITY 26.59 Increased By ▲ 0.04 (0.15%)
WTL 1.42 Decreased By ▼ -0.03 (-2.07%)
BR100 7,941 Increased By 103.5 (1.32%)
BR30 25,648 Increased By 196 (0.77%)
KSE100 75,983 Increased By 868.6 (1.16%)
KSE30 24,445 Increased By 330.8 (1.37%)

ISLAMABAD: The Universal Service Fund (USF) has awarded Rs 141.66 billion in subsidy so far to telecom operators for the implementation of around 150 projects, envisaging expanding telecom services to un-served and under-served areas of the country.

Sources revealed that the USF; however, is facing several challenges including security and equipment theft issues, which are hampering progress and delaying the timely execution of various projects in the pipeline.

The fund was created in 2007 to stretch cellular, broadband internet, fibre optics, and other telecommunication services to un-served or underserved areas. All telecom companies have been contributing 1.5 per cent of their revenues to the fund. Telecom operators contribute around Rs7-8 billion to the fund per annum. Telecommunication coverage was around 44 per cent before USF was launched in 2006-07.

According to documents, of the total Rs141.66 billion subsidies, Ufone took a major chunk of Rs40.94 billion (28.6 per cent), Pakistan Telecommunica-tion Company Limited (PTCL) Rs36.648 billion (25.9 per cent), Telenor Rs30.041 billion (21.2 per cent), Zong Rs5.637 billion (3.9 per cent), Wateen Rs4.847 (3.4 per cent), World Call Rs1.273 billion (0.9 per cent), Jazz Rs13.784 billion (9.7 per cent), and Nayatel Rs6.007 billion (4.2 per cent).

An official said that the “Broadband for Sustainable Development” program, under the USF, is designed to provide telecom services to the un-served Mauzas across the country. After the issuance of 3G/4G licenses by the federal government, this programme has been redesigned to include broadband equivalent data (internet) services as a compulsory component.

For new projects, powering the telecommunication sites through solar energy was also made a part of each project. According to documents, 1,699 base transceiver stations (BTS) have been installed and 12,825 Mauzas have been covered.

The USF aims to promote the development of telecommunication services in un-served and under-served rural areas of Pakistan to make available and affordable, 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 Fiber Network in all corners of the country. This project aims to extend the Optic Fiber connectivity to the un-served Tehsil HQs in Pakistan, for meeting the growing requirements of Voice, Data and Video in these areas.

Extending Fiber cables to Tehsils helps the telecom service providers in extending all kinds of telecom services to those areas. It is like building information motorways to all tehsils. So far, 56 tehsils and 26 towns are connected while 6,447 km optic fiber is laid.

Next Generation – Broadband for Sustainable Development Programme (NG-BSD) for National Highways and Motorways is a first-of-its-kind initiative of USF, whereby, the unserved patches on the National Highways and Motorways are being provided with voice and broadband data services. This programme is different from other coverage projects as the targets are not the residents but the commuters.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

Comments

Comments are closed.