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    September 08, 2016



Chitral Times Report

CHITRAL: Minister of State for IT and Telecom Mrs Anusha Rehman said that project for the provision of ICT services to the people of shangla and chitral which has been inaugurated by PM Muhammad Nawaz Sharif will surely change the fate of the people of these un served underserved areas.

She further said that Communications both road and telecoms have immense potential of changing the destiny of our country and its citizens through better economic opportunity and potential for business and employment. Exactly due to these reasons, next generation connectivity for both the rural and urban areas of Pakistan to digital ICT highways is embedded in our manifesto of Pmln. The launching of a comprehensive program of providing telecoms and broadband coverage to the residents of even the most remote parts of Chitral as well as Shangla is not less than a blessing.

Today, s inauguration of Chitral and Shangla Telecommunications coverage project by the worthy Prime minister is yet another milestone for us towards digital development and fulfillment of long standing demand of these areas and accomplishment of our commitment to the people of these areas for connectivity infrastructure development and provisioning of ICT services even in the most remote areas of Pakistan. These projects under “Broadband for Sustainable Development Program” will provide voice/mobile broadband internet services to around 2 million inhabitants spanning over 1,137 unserved mauzas of Districts Shangla, Swat, Buner, Chitral, Upper and Lower Dir. The Federal Government is providing subsidy of almost PKR 3.85 billion for these projects.

In this spirit of our manifesto and commitment to the Pakistani nation, Ministry of IT & Telecommunications, through a viable and thriving Pubic Private Partnership mechanism under the Universal Service Fund, has provided subsidy of over 35 billion rupees in various infrastructure projects for optical fibre deployment, providing next generation mobile services including broadband services in underserved and unserved areas particularly in Balochistan and KPK. It is indeed very promising that more than 3000 previously unserved mauzas have been provided with ICT services and approximately 6000 km of fiber optic cable has been laid under USF programs across Pakistan.

The impetus of broadband proliferation after introduction of 3G/4G services in 2014 has been phenomenal where broadband penetration which was less than 3% in 2013 has crossed 24% today. and we believe such projects will be instrumental in maintaining pace of broadband growth. The Ministry of IT and Telecommunications is pursuing the agenda of Digital Pakistan,with dedication and pledge in connecting the unconnected particularly in far flung areas.

Role of telecom operators is also appreciable being partners in these initiatives aimed at social uplift of the people. I hope that we will successfully complete these projects and bring next phase of progress to the people of these areas. Minister added.



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