ISLAMABAD: Universal Service Fund (USF) is implementing a programme to ensure deployment of a 6,000 kilometre (km) long-haul fibre-optic network to facilitate un-served tehsils. Once the programme is completed, it will help lay a huge network which otherwise was not considered to be affordable by competing operators.
A source at the USF on Wednesday said that out of approximately 400 tehsils in the country, presently 30% of them are deprived of any fibre connectivity. Extending fibre cables to them will help the telecom service providers in providing all kinds of services to the have-nots. Giving details, he said 18 out of 91 teshils in Sindh are without fibre optic access and fibre cable deployment of 703 km will benefit a population of 3.5 million.
In Balochistan, a population of 0.34 million people residing in five tehsils will benefit through the provision of a 900 km of optical fibre network connecting Dasht, Noshki, Dalbandin, Mashkhel and Taftan Tehsil headquarters including Dringar, Ahmadwal, Nokundi and Chaghi. The planned 1,166 km optical fibre to Bela, Pasni, Turbat and Hub tehsil including Jhal Jao, Awaran, Dureiji, Peerdrk, Dasht, Mehnaz, Buleda, Kalag, Jiwani, Kalatuk, Nodaiz, Hoshab, Nasirabad, Bilecha, Tump, Gwadar, Uthal, Duddar, Kanraj cities will serve one million people resident in the areas.
He said that tehsils of Barshor, Musa Khel, Zhob and Ziarat having a population of 1.7 million will benefit from a 1,108 km planned optical fibre cable. The official said that under Balochistan-Punjab package, provision of a 1,069 km long fibre optic cable network will ensure connectivity to un-served tehsils of Surab, Kharan and Bahawalnagar including cities of Basima, Awaran Saleemabad, Khuzdar, Nal, Gidder, Nag, Panjgoor, Zehri, Dogan, Hoshab, Chowkazam, Chobara, Quaidabad, Addhi Surgul, Aadhi Kot, Rangpur Bakhor, Nurpur, Minchinabad and help the locals benefit from high speed connectivity.
He said through 818 km of fibre, 1.45 million un-served people in Bhag, Dera Bugti, Jand, Jhal Magsi, Kotli Sattian and Sui tehsils will benefit.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2012.
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