ISLAMABAD,(Pakistan Point News - APP - 22nd july,2016) :Minister of State for Information, Technology and Telecommunication Anusha Rehman said on Tuesday that the government was determined to provide telecom facilities to every nook and corner of the country. "As per directive of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Universal Service Funds (USF) funds would be used to provide best telecom services to remote areas with transparency," she said while taking to media.
She said the amount of Universal Service Funds (USF) was spent under a proper mechanism and the USF board had representation of both public and private sectors. "The USF amount would be utilized for a purpose it allocated and not a single penny would be used for other purpose," she said. She said Rs 20 billion worth projects were in progress under the USF throughout the country and these would be further enhanced. USF has been running rural telecom projects to provide basic telephony and data services in several remote areas of the country thus creating opportunities also for the individuals in rural areas to get equal access to ICT facilities.
Moreover, through rural telecom programme, USF is triggering investment in more coverage and services being provided by telecom operators. The minister said special emphasis is being paid to educational institutions, whereby the subsidy winners are required to set-up Computer Labs (Educational Broadband Centres) with Broadband in higher secondary schools and colleges in their respective areas. Community Broadband Centres were also being established for people, who cannot afford computers.
The broadband programme was also giving boost to provision of other e-services like e-health, e-government, e- commerce etc. Anusha Rehman said with the introduction of mobile broadband 3G/4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies, around 30 million mobile broadband subscriptions had been realized and broadband penetration has rose from merely three per cent to 18 percent in a short span of two years only. "We are moving towards Internet of things, digital smart cities, virtualization in clouds, big data which are probably the next landmarks after internet in ICT evolution," the minister said.