=> ISLAMABAD (January 16 2008): Telecommunication inf
ISLAMABAD (January 16 2008): Telecommunication infrastructure and services in the rural areas can play a pivotal role for the long-term socio-economic benefit of the people and reducing the ‘digital divide’ between rural and urban areas.
Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications Dr Abdullah Riar stated this while addressing the signing ceremony of the contract of the Universal Service Fund Project in Sukkur with Mobilink.
The contract aims at providing telecom related services to the unserved areas of Ghotki, Sukkur, Khairpur, Nosheroferoze and Nawabshah districts covering a population of over 600,000. After the implementation of this project, citizens of Sukkur Division would have 100 percent access to telephone services.
“The establishment of USF and the allocation of subsidy to operators is an important factor in accelerating the availability of telecommunication services in rural areas,” said the Minister.
“Fixed-line and mobile operators can play an important role in providing coverage to rural areas in particular where there is no fixed line service,” he said.
This, he said, includes areas where the cost of the operations was too high due to a lack of infrastructure or scattered populations. “These areas would be other than the cities and towns where the mobile companies are bound to reach as part of the mobile cellular policy obligations,” he added.
Dr Riar appreciated the efforts of USF in bringing the penetration of telecommunication services to the rural areas into focus. He hoped that Moblink would live up to the expectations of the people and that the project augurs well for the people of Sukkur, particularly those living in the remote areas.
Universal Service Fund has been established by the Ministry of IT to spread the benefits of the telecom revolution to all corners of Pakistan. USF aims to promote development of telecommunication services in un-served and under-served areas throughout the length and breadth of the country, to make available affordable voice telephony and basic data services to progressively greater proportions of the country’s population at their home locations.
Present amongst others at the ceremony were CEO Mobilink Zohair Khaliq and CEO USF Pervez Iftikhar who signed the contract on behalf of their respective organisations, Hifz-ur-Rehman, Secretary IT and Chairman PTA Major General Shahzada Alam (retd) as well as several key individuals related to the Telecom Industry.
Source: Business Recorder