Universal Service Fund of Pakistan has approved around Rs. 1.89 billion for improving the telecom and IT infrastructure of the country. The fund is aimed at the development of various projects such as Broadband for Sustainable Development (BSD) Program, Next Generation BSD Program and more. These projects once completed will help improve connectivity across the country.
Taking a look at these projects, first up we have Broadband for Sustainable Development (BSD) which will target around 12,000 districts in all provinces of the country and will connect them with rest of the world. The minimum bandwidth being offered as per this project will be 256 kbps. Currently, 30 major projects are underway through this plan and another grant of Rs. 192 million has been awarded to further increase the reach of this plan to 401 unserved districts of North Waziristan, Bannu and Lakki Marwat.
Second up we have Roaming Facility for National Highways and Motorways which will help provide coverage to segments of the motorway which don’t have any connectivity yet such as N10, N25, N50, N65 and N70. This project was first started off in 2018 and since then, the 694 km long Coastal Highway which connects Karachi and Gawadar has broadband connectivity. As of right now, around 7700 km of roads are not covered.
Thirdly, we have the Next Generation BSD Program for Unserved Population which aims to provide high-speed connectivity to 46 districts with a minimum data rate of 512 kbps. Through this, around 30 million people will have better connectivity. Tender notices have also been released to cater to 3052 unserved or underserved districts of Matiari, Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar, Tando Muhammad Khan, Badin, Sujawal, Bahawalpur, Rahimyar Khan and Bahawalnagar.