The government launched seven broadband projects worth Rs8 billion to connect over 2.5 million people in unserved areas. The initiative was taken to bring remote populations online.
In the three years since the current administration took office, a record 37 projects worth over Rs31 billion have been contracted, particularly in the last two years: 12 in FY 2019-20, 25 in FY 2020-21.
The initiatives were announced by the Ministry of IT and Telecom (MOITT) during a Universal Service (USF) board meeting. Among the projects are Rs3.5 billion for Balochistan.
For all projects, federal minister Syed Amin-Ul-Haque said the government only chose the lowest-bidding telecom companies.
“USF must continue to bridge the digital divide and complete all projects on time.”
From 2018 to date, 56 projects for optical fibre cable and internet services have been launched, with a total subsidy of Rs52 billion.
Pakistan Mobile Company Limited (Jazz) was chosen to service the Punjab districts of Jhang, Bhakkar, and Toba Tek Singh with a Rs2.25 billion subsidy.
PTCL was also awarded a broadband project under the optical fibre cable programme, which involves laying a 106-kilometer cable between Haripur and Islamabad.