Minister of State for IT & Telecom Mrs. Anusha Rehman has said that the government is committed to complete all its milestones to achieve universal connectivity envisaged to connect the un-connected by 2018. She stated this while chairing 47th Board of Directors Meeting of USF co here at Islamabad today. Federal Secretary IT Mr. Rizwan Bashir, Chairman PTA Syed Ismail Shah, Member Telecom Mr. Mudassar Hussain, CEO Mobilink Mr. Aamir Ibrahim, CEO USF co Mr. Faisal Sattar and other board members also participated in the meeting.
The board reviewed the progress and development on the key projects of ICT services in un-served and under-served areas being carried out by USF Co in far flung and remote areas all across the country, with a particular focus on coverage in Baluchistan and FATA regions.
CEO USF Co briefed the board on “Broadband for Sustainable Project” through a detailed presentation. He apprised the board that company has formally signed an agreement with Ufone for Khuzdar and Chaghi lots. Moreover, Kohistan, Kharan, Washuk and Kohlu lots are also ready to be rolled out within next few days. He also apprised the board that USF Co has completed 50% milestones in Zhob/Sibi, Shangla areas so far and within next 6 months we are anticipating this ratio to reach at 75%.
The board was informed by the company that BISP’s data have been received and being analyzed for the initiation of “Pilot Project” for provisions of 30 thousand broadband enabled handsets to the women who are active recipients of BISP funds in un-served and underserved areas of the country. Progress on “ICT for Girls”, “Establishment of Labs at Women Empowerment Centres” and “Telecenters” was also discussed by the board. The board was satisfied with the progress being made on these projects.
Minister said that she and the whole team at MoITT and USF Co, had accorded particular focus to early childhood IT skill training to young children particularly girls. To achieve this program of computer lab plus teacher training through Microsoft is being executed in rural girls schools of the ICT region as a pilot.
The Chairperson/MoS IT Mrs. Anusha Rahman reiterated that the prime objective behind the USF projects is to provide connectivity to the marginalized and remote areas of the country especially Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & Baluchistan so that whole Pakistan could benefit from this sectoral development. She also directed the USF authorities to gear up their efforts to complete their roll outs with utmost transparency and efficiency within given timelines.